A new bill headed to parliament this week has re-introduced some suspended sections of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Law 2018 into The Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in a bid to regulate social media use in the country.

The Bill will require bloggers to seek clearance with the Communications Authority, failure to which could attract an Sh500,000 fine or a two-year jail sentence.  The Authority will also come up with a Bloggers code of conduct that they will have to adhere to.

The law covers those involved in “collecting, writing, editing and presenting of news or news articles on social media platforms or on the internet,” as bloggers.

The Bill, sponsored by Malava MP Malulu Injendi, will also require all Facebook and WhatsApp group administrators to be registered with the Communication Authority (CA) before setting up any Social media groups.  The Bill proposes that users and group administrators who allow offending content on their social media platforms to be jailed for a term not exceeding one year or face a ksh200,000 fine.

Social media has been defined by the Bill as a composition of “online publishing and discussion, media sharing, blogging, social networking, document and data sharing repositories, social media applications, social bookmarking and widgets.

“A social media user shall ensure that any content published, written or shared through the social media platform does not degrade or intimidate a recipient of the content, is fair, accurate and unbiased,” states part of The Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

If it passes, social media group administrators will be required to inform CA of their intention to form the groups and shall be required to control undesirable content and discussion on the platform they control. Additionally, one must have a physical address and a list of all of the group members to establish a group.

Moreover, the group administrators will also be required to ensure all the members on WhatsApp or Facebook groups have attained the minimum age required. As a result, no minors will be allowed to join groups led by adults.

Also, to establish a social media group, the Bill proposes that one must have a physical address and data showing all its members.

Read the full document, here.

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