Kenyan government is aware of hate speech social media accounts

Kenya joined the rest of the world in observing Social Media Day yesterday, against the backdrop of tribalism and political vitriol as well as the prosecution of two people for hate speech on social media.

Speaking in Nairobi during the commemoration of the day Dennis Itumbi, director of digital communication in the Office of the President said his team is aware of who is running the various accounts on social media engaging in hate campaigns, and would soon act on it.

“I assure you that the skills we have in the digital media department within the government are deep and we know who is running what account and many other things,” he said.

“The reason why we have not moved is because we need a legal structure. Now it is going to go through and it will be very unfortunate if you are going to be the first person to suffer from the law.”

Itumbi also hinted of a social media policy spearheaded by the Jubilee and CORD coalitions that will guide users on how to engage over the social media space.

“It doesn’t really matter which political divide you belong to lets move the social media conversation from the political agenda,” said Itumbi.

Speaking at the same event of the Editors’ Guild vice chairman David Ohito said social media had been used to cyberbully journalists and anchors, where some have been termed to be CORD or Jubilee sympathisers.

On the positive Ohito said social media should be diversified so as to generate income.

“What concerned the world editors was how they can use social media to grow their products, circulations, readership and audiences and over and above that, how do you make revenues out of them. Have you ever looked at how we can turn around those numbers into revenue streams so that we can grow money out of our pockets, and from this country?” he said.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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