Most of us just can’t do the social media blackout

Even four hours offline (never mind 24) has proved to be too long for many social media users.

Yesterday, poet and musician Ntsiki Mazwai and other social media users called on people to participate in the #SocialMediaBlackout from 12am today to 12am tomorrow. Mazwai asked South Africans not to buy data or log in to any of their social media platforms, including WhatsApp.

Last year September, radio personality and businessman Tbo Touch took to parliament to present his #DataMustFall campaign to the communication department. A campaign also aimed at getting network providers to reduce their data costs.

He said he had asked Icasa chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga to intervene, asking him why South Africa had the “most expensive broadband in the world”, also revealing he paid R9 000 for data monthly.

Touch went as far as sending Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa a message to cut data costs if he wanted his vote and “pocket”, responding to a fan who asked him if Ramaphosa still had shares at MTN.

His campaign gained support from celebrities such as D’Banj, designer David Tlale and Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who tweeted he was in support of the campaign. The campaign took a turn when Touch announced that MTN had joined the low-priced data movement. However, Twitter users were not happy with the announcement of the new data prices.

24 hours off all social media platforms proved to be too long for South Africans. It seems Mazwai is the only one still participating in the #SocialMediaBlackOut.


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