HATE SPEECH – The government has laid down tough rules aimed at taming the use of social media among the political class ahead of the 2022 general election.
The move is aimed at protecting the citizens from vile messages from politicians that are inciting and divisionary.
This will be done through the deletion of any videos on social media by the political leaders that bear inciting messages and could trigger violence.
Those found guilty of spreading the messages will also face the full force of the law for fostering animosity among the people during the campaigns period.
The state through the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Ezekiel Mutua, said they had to put a control button on the use of social media by political leaders to avoid a repeat of what transpired in the run up to the 2007 election or worse.
Political leaders like uttering inciting words during the campaigns period, that end up being circulated on social media platforms. We will face even more challenges surpassing what was experienced in 2007, where local dialect radios were used to incite violence,”Ezekiel Mutua
Mutua while on a coastal tour Friday, also urged media practitioners to be careful not to be used by politicians as a source for distributing messages aimed at causing division.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i had however earlier stated that the internet will not be shut down over hate speech.
But Matiang’i said the government will be tough on any politician who would be found culpable of using social media to propagate hate speech.
However, we will be very ruthless when it comes to those who interfere with others’ freedom. We will not hesitate or be intimidated by pressure or complaints from anybody. We will protect Kenya,”Dr. Fred Matiang’i