The Ghana Police Service has warned persons who circulate unconfirmed reports to desist from the practice or face the law.
According to the police, the practice were some unknown persons circulate unconfirmed reports on disasters creates fear and panic among the public.
Its caution follows a widely circulated message on Friday evening claiming that a gas tanker had overturned on the N1 Highway in Accra, posing a serious threat to motorists and residents.
But in a Citi News interview, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Cephas Arthur said, “I have made my checks so far and there is nothing that indicates that the piece of information is true.”
He thus proceeded to warn members of the public “who have the penchant for sending such pieces of alarming messages” to stop.
“The police will not spare anybody who is found sending a piece of alarm across because it is a criminal offense… If anybody is caught circulating any alarming information that the person knows is not true, and that is tantamount to causing fear and alarm, the person will be dealt with accordingly,” Superintendent Arthur stated.
Attempted ban on social media
The Police Service as already expressed its apprehension with the role social media could play in escalating tensions ahead of the 2016 general elections.
The Service bore the brunt of public criticism when the Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor, indicated his outfit was considering a shut down on social media activities due to perceived tension it could create on the day of the polls.
A number of civil society organisations kicked against any possible ban saying it would be an affront to the constitutional rights of citizen.
The police has since said it was only considering a social media blackout as a last resort as part of security measures ahead of the elections