Prior to Sam's appearance on our Live Tautai Podcast, his personal account of witnessing a hit-and-run incident had already circulated on various social media platforms. The individual he accused had also engaged in discussions about these allegations on a separate platform. This dialogue had become public knowledge, with both the accuser and the accused contributing to the discourse even before BluTV broadcasted the particular episode in question.
It's worth noting that BluTV merely presented Sam's narrative as it was originally shared on other platforms; no additional elements were introduced.
During the podcast, Tautai Aʻe Host Asiata Pio Vaoliko inquired about the accusations made by Sam and invited the Member of Parliament, who had been implicated by Sam, to join the program and present his perspective. The aim was to shed light on the situation and offer a well-rounded account to our audience. The Member of Parliament initially accepted the invitation but ultimately canceled his participation just ten minutes after the live broadcast began.
As previously mentioned, the online dispute between these two individuals was not a recent development. Our intention was to provide a platform for both parties to share their narratives, which they had already conveyed through other media outlets, in an effort to put an end to the online conflict and disinformation.
The Tautai Ae podcast on Thursday night (14th September 2023) prompted the Samoa Police to respond with a social media post about online misinformation. The Samoa Police also requested more information about the hit-and-run case - an incident under investigation over the last two years without any ‘solid evidence,’ as stated by the authorities.
In the SPPCS FB post, "The SPPCS can confirm that the accusations and information that have been shared on social media are inaccurate, inconsistent and do not verify the identification of any suspects, including allegations against Government officials in the performance of their duties."
The public statement from the Samoa Police after the Tautai Aʻe Livestream, according to them, that they have clarified that there is inconsistency and does not verify the identification of any suspects, including government officials. The Police also stated that Tuuau's case is still open, and they still need more information.
The Police statement on social media should be enough to put to rest all doubts about this issue between these two people and the allegations surrounding it, because it was this very clarity from the Police that was needed to settle these online rumours.
It's important for the Police to provide more information on this issue and other matters related to public safety. Holding press conferences with the media can help prevent the spread of misinformation online and allow the public to hear directly from the authorities.
The need for more information regarding Tuuau's death is essential not only for justice but also for the closure of his grieving family and community. In cases where someone's life is tragically cut short, the pursuit of truth becomes a moral imperative.