CAK overwhelmed by incitement on social media

The Communications Authority says it is in talks with global social media networking sites to fight online hate speech, incitement and fake news.

Director General Francis Wangusi says this will help in fighting online crime which has proved to be viral and on the rapid rise.

Since August to date, the authority has forwarded more than 300 online hate speech cases to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and the Director of Criminal Investigations.

The Kenyan presidential election in August and October this year was characterized by malicious fake news and propaganda, a phenomenal that has boiled to the global level.

Governments world over are now concerned with this vice that is becoming hard to tackle especially in this age where information quickly goes viral as a result of increased internet adoption.

Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter among others have now initiated the “Trust Project” which seeks to present trust indicators on online content by media houses.

An increase in cases of hate speech, character assassination, fake news, incitement and malicious propaganda prompted the Communications Authority to acquire a social media monitoring system tool at a cost of 600 million shillings, which is expected to help in the fight against inappropriate use of social media and online platforms.

Even though some online users among them high profile Kenyans feel that their personal brands are attacked or face attacks on social media, Wangusi says the authority has blocked some users for inappropriate use of social media such as impersonation of media houses and prominent personalities.

However, CA admits it has been overwhelmed by the increasing cases. According to the latest statistics by the Communications Authority, Kenya currently has 35.5 million internet users, an upsurge the authority says has been supported by affordable smart phones, cheap data from mobile service providers as well as the extensive laying of the fiber optic cable that has revamped internet access and speed.



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