It will harm, more than help, his reputation. I am therefore surprised that his lawyer and close associates have advised him to take this path.
In the past week, what made this issue bigger was the letter from the PM's lawyer warning the print and online social media not to publish the story.
She created news and gave credence to a story that would otherwise exist only in the realm of rumours and eventually fade away into our collective memories.
The various groups who attempted to extort money from the Solomon Star further exacerbated the situation.
They created a media saga around allegations of the prime minister's extra-marital affair.
That kept the story alive. It made people curious and wanted to find out more, thereby setting the agendas of public discussions.
It gave the story a longer lease of public life than it would have otherwise enjoyed.
While I respect the prime minister's right to seek legal action, I am seriously doubtful that this will help him.
This incident raises a much broader issue: the relationship between politics (and politicians) and the internet, especially social media, which has (and will continue) to dramatically change, not only the way in which information is shared, but also the content of information and how we interact with it.
While this rapid technological and social transformation is taking place, most (if not all) of our politicians continue to function in the pre-internet 20th century age.
They act as though they have control over information in the same ways they used to do when the dissemination of information was monopolised by a few conventional media outlets.
These media outlets were the ones who set the agendas of discussion and were the authoritative gate keepers of information.
At that time, politics was largely about the control of information.
Now-a-days, that is, generally, no longer the case, thanks to transformations brought about by the internet.
Politics is no longer about controlling information. Rather, it is about managing information and the factors that create stories.
Consequently, no law suit will stop the production and dissemination of information about the misdeeds of politicians.
And believe me, if the allegations against the prime minister were proven to be true, then it is only the tip of the ice-berg in the stories of politicians’ involvements in sex scandals.
These stories will soon unravel, exposing a parliament full of men, many of whom can’t keep their pants on long enough to make sensible policies and pass much needed legislation for the country.
I would therefore advise the prime minister to rethink his intention to sue the Solomon Star and FSII.
This is because the legal process will likely uncover information that the prime minister would rather keep in his personal closet.
That will give more for the media and online networks such as FSII to talk about, share, and eventually influence public opinions about the prime minister’s reputation, and the credibility of his government.
So, if I were the prime minister - which I am not and perhaps never will be - I would push the skeletons further into the closet, padlock it and throw the keys in the ocean between Visale and Savo.
By Dr Tarcisius T. Kabutaulaka
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