28 July 2017

Kenya: NCIC Has Flagged 176 Social Media Accounts Over Hate Speech

Photo: Daily News
(file photo).

Nairobi — The National Cohesion and Integration Commission says that it has flagged at least 176 social media accounts that are involved in propagating hate speech.

NCIC Chairman Francis ole Kaparo and Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Francis Wangusi say in a joint statement that administrators of social media platforms will be held liable for any hate speech posts disseminated in their platforms.

"In particular, the NCIC has identified and flagged out at least 176 social media accounts that are involved in the propagation of hate speech. So far, 31 cases are under prosecution in various courts across the country" a statement published in newspapers Friday said.

"Any person contravening Section 13 of the NCI Act 2008 is liable to a fine of one million or imprisonment of three years. Section 62 offences of ethnic contempt or racial discrimination, one is liable to a fine of one million or imprisonment of five years or both," they asserted.

On July 19 during a stakeholders' breakfast meeting on election preparedness in Nairobi, Wangusi warned that WhatsApp administrators will be held responsible for any rumours, hate speech or misinformation that is spread in their groups.

"The Commission hereby warns administrators of all social media platforms that that they will be held liable for any hate speech posts disseminated on their platforms," they said.

The debate was varied on Social media with Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) debating whether the warning was enforceable in law.

The two bodies have urged social media users to strictly publish content that is line with the provisions of the Constitution and other relevant laws.

"Most importantly, the content published on social media should be done in line with the provisions of the Constitution, NCIC Act, KICA, and other relevant laws," reads the notice.

The two bodies have also urged website and blog administrators to take extra caution by authenticating and validating the source and truthfulness of content prior to publishing.

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