Bill seeks to stop hate speech on the Internet

Photo|FILE

Kenyans have been urged not to use hate speech in social media.

What you need to know:

  • This means that those who do not moderate their language on the Internet face prosecution.
  • Mzalendo Kibunjia said at the weekend that the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), Safaricom and NCIC would regulate language use on the Internet.
  • Nyanza police boss Joseph ole Tito urged Kenyans not to use hate speech in social media.

A Bill to give the Information ministry powers to monitor all Internet messages will soon be tabled in Parliament to curb hate speech.

It means that those who do not moderate their language on the Internet face prosecution.

National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia said at the weekend that the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), Safaricom and NCIC would regulate language use on the Internet.

Dr Kibunjia, who was speaking at Kisumu Hotel, said phone messages and Internet messages, especially those sent in bulk, would be monitored.

Nyanza police boss Joseph ole Tito urged Kenyans not to use hate speech in social media. “NCIC, CID officers and computer experts are watching out for any possible use of hate speech in cyber cafes countrywide,” Mr Tito said at the same venue.

He said the public should not think that only politicians were being targeted for spreading hate speech.

“Several cases against individuals found to be engaging in hate speech are under investigations for prosecution by the DPP and if there is satisfactory evidence, more people might be prosecuted,” he said.

NCIC commissioner Milly Lwanga said the Kisumu meeting was meant to educate police officers on how to determine hate speech.

“We are mostly concentrating on the awareness of article 24 and 33 of the Constitution that criminalises hate speech,” said Ms Lwanga.

She added that the exercise had been carried out in Eldoret, Kakamega, Central and would be extended to other parts of the country.

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