4 February 2013

Kenya: Hate Speech On Social Media Declining

The Ministry of Information has put Internet service providers (ISPs) on notice over their Internet protocol addresses (IPs) being used to spread hate speech and divisive messages as the March 4 poll approaches.

The Information permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo, said the ISPs will be held accountable for any inflammatory message being put across using their systems.

Ndemo further warned the providers against sharing a single IP address among many users as this makes tracing offenders difficult. Ndemo however said that since the beginning of the social media monitoring programme, hate speech has reduced.

Ndemo said with the help of hate speech monitoring organizations, they had detected hate speech on social media in seven languages and will act on them accordingly.

Several measures were put in place last year and early this year to curb hate speech in light of the March 4 elections. Last year all mobile telephony service providers switched off fake phones and blocked unregistered sim cards.

Last month the NCIC equipped 1000 police with recording devices to be used in taping politicians who in engage in hate speech and racial utterances ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

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