Kenya: Censor Child's Online Forays for Their Safety

Cases of schoolchildren engaging in drug abuse, premature sexual activity and crime, among other harmful activities, are rising. This is happening despite collective attempts to tame it.

A certain aspect that is emerging quite strongly seems to be luring our children to these extremes. Among the factors said to contribute to this situation are peer pressure and socioeconomic status.

But another, whose face is changing daily, is censorship. That refers to the suppression of information considered harmful, sensitive or inconvenient to particular people.

With the enhancement of technology, a lot of information is readily available to a significant number of Kenyans at the tap of a gadget. This gadget could be as common as a cell phone.

Questions keep arising over what content children access online and how it affects them. Addiction to games on phones, laptops and other devices has also raised concerns.

Monitor internet use

During the recent launch of "Tuwalinde Watoto" song by Kiptoo Rop in Uasin Gishu County, the Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua requested parents to monitor internet use by children during the holiday. Dr Mutua cited violence and obscenity as among the ideologies that are taught via the internet. He also asked the media to filter out bad content.

We should explain in detail to children why they should not expose themselves to certain platforms. These include some websites, various television programmes and films with age limits. Following up on children is important because some may devise many ways of accessing inappropriate content. Several applications to aid these follow-ups have emerged lately.

More government intervention, our caution and discipline among children are required. With the risk factors growing by the day, children urgently require more shielding against inappropriate content.

Mr Mwenda is an intern at Directorate of Public Communications.

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