9 January 2013

Kenya Forms Team to Monitor Hate Speech Ahead of Elections

The Kenyan government has appointed a team to monitor hate speech on social media as the March 4th general elections approach, Kenya's The Standard reported Wednesday (January 9th).

Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia, Ministry of the Interior Permanent Secretary Mutea Iringo, and Ministry of Information and Communications Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo will be among the team members charged with identifying individuals using social media to disseminate hate speech that may incite violence.

"Some of the abusive, highly corrosive, divisive, tribal messages and blogs are criminal and this is the reason why we have formed a special team as we head to the election," Kimemia said. "We are tracking all hate speakers, war mongers and peddlers without favour, with a special focus on social media and a few FM stations. We are leaving no stone unturned."

The team will collaborate with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and the National Steering Committee on Media Monitoring, which last week issued a warning to bloggers using their websites to promote ethnic division, threatening to hold them publicly responsible.

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