Govt Sets Tough Social Media Rules for Politicians Ahead of Elections

  • Kenya Film and Classification Board CEO, Ezekiel Mutua.
    Kenya Film and Classification Board CEO, Ezekiel Mutua.
    File
  • The government has set stringent rules to tame the use of social media among political leaders ahead of the 2022 General election. Through the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Ezekiel Mutua, the state said the move is aimed at shielding the citizens from vile messages from political leaders aimed at causing division and inciting them.

    The state announced plans to delete any videos shared by political leaders on social media that incite people and advocate for violence on social media.

    On top of that, the government has announced that the perpetrators will face the full brunt of the law for fostering animosity among the people during the campaigns period.

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    KFCB CEO Ezekiel Mutua (right) addresses journalists on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Mombasa
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    He added that the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology which is headed by CS Joe Mucheru will sieve through what is shared on social media by political leaders.

    Mutua said failure to put a control button on the use of social media by political leaders would result in more damage than what was experienced in 2007 where local dialect radio stations were used to share inciteful messages.

    “Political leaders like uttering inciting words during the campaigns period, that end up being circulated on social media platforms. We will face even more challenges surpassing what was experienced in 2007, where local dialect radios were used to incite violence,” Mutua stated.

    He urged politicians to exercise caution during their campaigns in a way that does not set the agenda of hate.

    While on a tour to Mombasa on Friday, July 9, Mutua also reached out to media practitioners to be careful not to be used by politicians as a source for distributing messages aimed at causing division.

    This comes just days after Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’I stated that the internet will not be shut down over hate speech.

    But he said the government will be ruthless to deal with political leaders found culpable of using social media to propagate hate speech.

    “However, we will be very ruthless when it comes to those who interfere with others’ freedom. We will not hesitate or be intimidated by pressure or complaints from anybody. We will protect Kenya,” he stated.

    He added that the security sector will play its role to protect Kenyans.

    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i speaks during the launch of Inspector General of Police Conference.
    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i speaks during the launch of Inspector General of Police Conference.
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