Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, has said that he is sceptical about Twitter being a reliable media of conveying knowledge. Speaking at the University of Stellenbosch, Mbeki who was answering a question from the audience said that he believe the social media is not an appropriate tool for discussing knowledge which can better the society.
“I am sceptical about this notion of Twitter being that great conveyor instrument for the democratisation of knowledge,” Mbeki is quoted by News24 as having said at the opening of the university’s knowledge conference.
Mbeki also said that he doubted the effectiveness of blogs and blogging in discussing such ideas.
Mbeki is reported to have questioned whether knowledge has become “less democratised and more compromised” as an instrument for the improvement of society. The former president lamented that mainstream / traditional media is unable to control which political rhetoric went viral or “caught fire” with the public.
Mbeki urged the conference to look at how false knowledge was “advanced” by groups with agendas. Mbeki said that “false knowledge” was used in 2011 to remove Muammar Gaddafi from power.
“False knowledge was advanced that the Gaddafi regime was about to slaughter millions of civilians. This was to justify the imposition of a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya which served as a cover to overthrow the Libyan government and impose a regime approved by the Western Powers in their interest. ”
The thoughts of Mbeki are not unique since former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo has also been fronting the same idea.