The Use of Social Media by the Botswana Government and Governance of Liquid Communication

  • Tshepho Lydia Mosweu University of Botswana
Keywords: social media, government, information governance, liquid communication, Botswana

Abstract

Social media as a communication tool has enabled governments around the world to interact with citizens for customer service, access to information and to direct community involvement needs. The trends around the world show recognition by governments that social media content may constitute records and should be managed accordingly. The literature shows that governments and organisations in other countries, particularly in Europe, have social media policies and strategies to guide the management of social media content, but there is less evidence among African countries. Thus the purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of usage of social media by the Botswana government in order to determine the necessity for the governance of liquid communication. Liquid communication here refers to the type of communication that goes easily back and forth between participants involved through social media. The ARMA principle of availability requires that where there is information governance, an organisation shall maintain its information assets in a manner that ensures their timely, efficient and accurate retrieval. The study adopted a qualitative case study approach where data were collected through documentary reviews and interviews among purposively selected employees of the Botswana government. This study revealed that the Botswana government has been actively using social media platforms to interact with its citizens since 2011 for increased access, usage and awareness of services offered by the government. Nonetheless, the study revealed that the government had no official documentation on the use of social media, and policies and strategies that dealt with the governance of liquid communication. This study recommends the governance of liquid communication to ensure timely, efficient and accurate retrieval when needed for business purposes.

Author Biography

Tshepho Lydia Mosweu, University of Botswana

Tshepho Mosweu is a Lecturer of archives and records management at the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of Botswana since March 2018. Prior to that, she worked at the Botswana National Archives and Records Services as an Archivist at different levels and later on as Principal Records Manager and Head of Kanye Records Centre until February 2018.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences (BA) and a Master’s Degree in Archives and Records Management (MA) both from the University of Botswana. She is currently a Doctoral Degree candidate in Information Science at the University of South Africa. Tshepho Mosweu is also a researcher at InterPARES Trust, Team Africa, a multi-disciplinary and multinational research project based in Canada concerned with digital records entrusted to the Internet. She is also an active member of local, regional and International bodies in the field of archives and records management, being the International Council on Archives, the East and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives, South African Society of Archivists as well as the Records and Information Association of Botswana. She has published book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles as well as presented academic papers on digital records, liquid communication, Cloud- Computing and oral history.

 

Published
2019-11-05