Social networks

Social networks are the most popular form of online communication. According to Internet World Stats, Facebook is the favorite one, with 1.5 million users. There are more Facebook profiles than email accounts in the country. Young people prefer to be on social networks, while older generations still prefer email. Twitter and WhatsApp are widely used and Viber has some popularity both in Bamako and in the regional capitals. Almost every community, village, association and fellowship has a WhatsApp or Facebook group on which news about social ceremonies, commercial offers and political events are shared. There is also an information network composed of individual activists on YouTube.

Malians are increasingly using social media in many areas including education, events, politics and even religion. While these networks have facilitated sharing information, they still lack credibility, as their use in the country is almost entirely based on rumors, scams, profligacy and misinformation. This is mainly due to the lack of online best practices, the legislation gap around them and the absence of instruments for tracking misuse. Moreover, the phenomenon of users having many profiles or even false identities (pretending to be football stars, singers, political and religious personalities) is quite common in Mali, including fake social media profiles with pictures of attractive women to scam male users.