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UN warns against irresponsible use of social media on election issues

By Ghanizada - Sun Jun 22 2014, 6:12 pm

KubisThe United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) urged for responsible use of social media platforms, particularly in relation to the country’s ongoing electoral process.

“Everyone has a right to their own views and opinions and to express these on social media, which can be a valuable tool in helping generate enthusiastic debate and encourage public participation – however, using these platforms for communication in ways which could increase tensions or incite violence is not conducive to the historic electoral process currently underway,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš.

“There has been a disturbing tone in some social media platforms, and we urge supporters of the candidates in the Afghan Presidential elections to refrain from inflammatory statements, hate speech or statements which promote divisive ethnic mobilization,” Mr. Kubiš added. “This includes rhetoric that brings back memories of tragic, fratricidal, factional conflicts in the 1990s that cost the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.”

UNAMA strongly urged the candidates to take all steps necessary to control their supporters to prevent them from making any irresponsible statements and from taking steps that could lead to civil disorder and instability.

The UN Mission also urged the candidates and their supporters to act in the national interest and reminds them of their personal and political responsibility for peace, stability and the unity of the country.

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