NCIC Gives Facebook 7 Days to Make Changes or Get Suspended

  • An undated photo of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
    An undated photo of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
    Photo by Nick Statt / The Verge
  • The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) issued a seven-day ultimatum to social networking giant, Facebook, demanding prompt compliance with cohesion regulations in Kenya.

    NCIC - through its commissioner Danvas Makori - on Friday, July 29, asked Facebook to tame hate-mongering from its users, failure to which action will be taken to terminate its operations in the country. 

    The cohesion body was reacting to a report by Global Witness, a multinational advocacy group, indicating that Facebook has been used by politicians to run advertisements that contravene regulations on ethnic profiling. 

    National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) boss Rev Dr Samuel Kobia speaking during a press conference on April 8, 2022.
    National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) boss Rev Dr Samuel Kobia speaking during a press conference on April 8, 2022.
    File

    “If Facebook does not comply with the requirements that we set for them within seven days, we will recommend that Facebook services be suspended,” Makori said during a press briefing. 

    Further, the commissioner stated that Facebook has failed to cooperate with NCIC in its efforts to promote peace in the country during the elections period.

    According to Makori, NCIC’s efforts to promote peace and integration have been suppressed hence hindering the success of the initiative. 

    “We have been trying to push peace messages on Facebook but Facebook has been suppressing them. We have been unable to fight hate speech because Facebook has refused to allow us to publish these messages.” 

    The Commission had earlier demanded that Facebook pulls down any content capable of fuelling hate between Kenyans during the electioneering period. Facebook complied and pulled the hateful content on July 20.  

    Global Witness had in its undercover mission unearthed that Facebook had allowed 20 advertisements with the potential to incite or promote violence. The adverts contained words advocating for violent acts for persons including beheading and slaughter. 

    NCIC is the body mandated to promote peace and integration among people from all ethnic, religious, and racial groups in Kenya. 

    The Prof Samuel Kobia-led Commission has intensified its activities during this election period in a bid to avoid a repeat of the trend where past election cycles have been marred with violence and clashes. The Commission is currently running a campaign dubbed "Elections Bila Noma", sheng for violence-free elections.

    NCIC had earlier this year called for vigilance on all social sites, urging them to flag any information containing inciting content or hate speech. 

    Facebook is yet to respond to the ultimatum.

    Undated image of NCIC Samuel Kobia during a press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya.
    Undated image of NCIC Samuel Kobia during a press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya.
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