A joint statement between The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), calls for broadcasters and Social Media Users to be responsible online during the repeat Presidential election to be held on the 26th October 2017.

Social Media platforms having reduced the world to a global village where everyone is connected regardless of where they come from. It is paramount for every user to ensure responsibility. The misuse of social media platforms during the election period can lead to hate speech and strife among its citizens. Bloggers, online news sites, political leaders and their followers have been urged to exercise discretion during the electioneering period.

There are Guidelines on the Prevention of Dissemination of Undesirable Bulk and Premium Rate Political Messages and Political Social Media Content via Electronic Communication Network available here. There are also Guidelines on Election Coverage for broadcasters under the NCI Act which can be accesses here.

Hatemongers on social media seek platforms where they can exert their anger and propagate ethnic contempt as well as incite violence. Website and blog site administrators and social media users are urged to take extra caution by authenticating and validating the source of the content they choose to publish on an online space. Rumors or Alternative news should be well researched on to prevent misleading or inciting people to violence. Discussions arising from published posts on social media should also be moderated by the administrators during this period.

Online users should note, “Any person contravening Section of the NCI Act 2008 is liable to a fine of one million or imprisonment of three years. Section 62 offenses of ethnic contempt or racial discrimination attract a fine of one million or imprisonment of five years or both”.

Below is the full statement.