The National Youth Movement for Transparent Election has formally launched a social media campaign name and style “Liberia Decides”. Liberia Decides is a non partisan social media campaign intended to promote young people and marginalized groups participation and voices in Liberia’s electoral process.
The campaign will also inform and mobilize voters in hard to reach communities through mobile phone calls and texting. Giving an overview of the platform, NAYMOTE Executive Director Eddie Jarwolo said Liberia Decides is intended to use social media in a positive way to inform and educate people to make decision that will move the country forward. “There is lot of fear about election violence but if we are not careful how we communicate using the social and what we say on social media can create violence,” Jarwolo said, noting, “So we want to use social media to buttress the traditional media in getting information out to our people about the elections. With the use of social media, Jarwolo believes Liberia can have an effective transitional process where people will be able to discuss the issues rather than personalities. He disclosed that with the short period of time since NAYMOTE launched the Liberia Decides page, there has been a total of 328 likes on Face book; 11,080 posts reached on Youtube; 1.2k views on Instagram while the call center has interacted with 280 persons, including 147 males and 133 females respectively. Launching the campaign at the headquarters of NAYMOTE Friday, United Nations Development Program Deputy Country Director, Cleophas Torori, said the launch of the program came at the right time as the current government will be transitioning to another government. He challenged Liberians to use the social media as possible influence for the 2017 elections. Cleophas Torori said the role of social media will be a key determinant of how messages are put out to the Liberian people especially during the 2017 election. He also challenged first-time voters to register and vote, while urging social media users to post messages will not taint the country image. He said social media is a powerful tool when use properly, especially during this electioneering period. He called on NAYMOTE to reach every Liberian to ensure that messages of the election are spread across the country. Making remarks, USAID Deputy Country Director Jeremy Meadows challenged Liberians to be principal users of social media especially when it comes to information about voting and the registration process. He challenged users of the platform to be constructive in sharing idea about how citizens can participate peacefully and productively in the political process. “Violence free elections are possible if we respect the rights of others,” the USAID official told the gathering. He challenge NAYMOTE to verify information it will share to the public making sure that it is true and accurate.