Towards a strategy for social media implications on human security in Namibia: Case study of Windhoek

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University of Namibia
The study reports findings of a qualitative research study that propose a strategy for social media implications for human security in Namibia. The case study used the case study of Windhoek to determine social media implications on human security dimensions that include economic, personal, health, community, food, environmental and political threats. The study further assessed the social media crime situation, as well as types and prevalence of social media crime in Namibia., It also discussed the various challenges faced by the Namibian Police Force and the courts in dealing with cybercrimes and proposed strategies to be adopted to combat social media crimes. Studying the implications of social media is vital to ensure human security of all internet users. In phase 1, data was collected through open-ended questionnaires from 10 purposively sampled members of the public. In phase 2, data was gathered through face-to-face unstructured interviews held with 8 purposively selected respondents. The voice-recorded data was transcribed. Both phase 1 and 2 data were coded and organised in groups to create themes. Thematic Analysis was used to derive meaning out of data. Findings show that there are serious human security threats emanating from Facebook and WhatsApp usage, mostly threats to economic, personal, community and health security of individuals. The cybercrime situation is getting worse in Namibia with prevalent trends of distribution and circulation of obscene and pornographic materials, defamation of character, cyber bulling, internet fraud, hate speech and breach of privacy. ii The least common is cyber terrorism. Namibia does not yet have a cyber legal framework though a draft bill has been crafted. The police currently only deals with cybercrime cases which were defined in common and statutory laws. Lack of awareness, capacity, resources, proper technology, and the transnational and anonymity nature of cybercrimes were identified as challenges faced by the Namibian Police and courts while dealing with cybercrime. Results confirmed findings by previous scholars: Wall (2011), UNODC (2013), UN (2013), Amedie (2015), Council of Europe (2015), Ajayi (2016), Adesina (2017), Dwivedi (2018), and Links (2018). A human security theory coined by UNDP (1994) was adopted to guide this study in a Namibian context. The study recommends a speedy passing and enactment of a cybercrime law, investment in both technology and capacity building of investigators and prosecutors, alongside public education to raise awareness among social media users to combat cybercrimes.
A mini thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts (Security and Strategic Studies)
Social media, Human security