Kenya: Editors Challenge NCIC on Fight Against Hate Speech Online

The media wants the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to partner with the Communications Authority to stamp out hate speech online.

Kenya Editors' Guild Vice President Samuel Maina says that whereas mainstream media moderate political rallies, politicians with ulterior motives broadcast their hate speeches live on social media.

Speaking during a breakfast meeting of the NCIC and editors at Serena hotel on Tuesday, Mr Maina noted that it is possible to stop hate speech from spreading to the public.

"We saw recently how Facebook and Twitter moderated tweets and posts in the United States. We must join hands for the sake of our great nation," he said.

"Deal with hate speech on social media."

Nation Media Group's Managing Editor in-charge of Projects, Mr John Kamau, asked the NCIC to look at NMG's editorial policy for pointers on how to deal with hate speech.

"NCIC should look at social media and call out war mongers. NMG has a new editorial policy on, among others, what to do when hate speech occurs. NCIC can request a copy and use it to train other media houses on dealing with this problem," said Mr Kamau.

NCIC chairperson, Dr Samuel Kobia, declared war on those spreading hate online, saying the commission has built its officers capacity to monitor social media.

"We have been branded toothless dogs for some time now due to our inability to initiate prosecution. We are in talks with the acting chief justice to set up a special desk to expeditiously deal with hate cases," he said.

The NCIC has so far summoned MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Johana Ng'eno (Emurua Dikir) and Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina over statements perceived to instigate hatred.

In changes expected with the amendment of the National Cohesion and Integration Act of 2008,, the NCIC would want more powers to bar warmongers from vying for public office.

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