CS Mucheru: NCIC has no framework to suspend Facebook

CS Mucheru: NCIC has no framework to suspend Facebook

BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,30TH JULY,2022-Cabinet Secretary for Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Joe Mucheru has called out the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) over its recommendation to ban Facebook in the country due to hate speech in the run-up to August 9 elections.

NCIC on Friday, issued Facebook with a seven days ultimatum to comply with recommendations on reducing online hate speech on its platforms in the country.

However, CS Mucheru on Saturday noted that it was not clear what legal framework NCIC planned to use to suspend the social media giant as Kenya enjoys Press Freedom enshrined in the constitution.

“Media, including social media, will continue to enjoy press freedom in Kenya. Not clear what legal framework NCIC plans to use to suspend Facebook,” he stated

“Government is on record. We are not shutting down the internet,” Mucheru reiterated

His sentiments were echoed by Media Council of Kenya (MCK) CEO, David Omwoyo who said, “Freedom of Media and Freedom of expression are guaranteed by the constitution.”

The recommendation by NCIC came after an investigative report by human rights organisation, Global Witness which revealed that Facebook approved several adverts promoting hate speech in both English and Kiswahili languages.

“Much of the speech was dehumanising, comparing specific tribal groups to animals and calling for rape, slaughter and beheading. We are deliberately not repeating the phrases used here as they are highly offensive,” he said adding that Facebook approved the content contrary to policy and community standards

NCIC Commissioner Dr Danvas Makori said the failure by Facebook to act towards the inappropriate content is an outright violation of the Kenyan Constitution and threatens peace in country during the election period.

“The freedom of expression does not extend to propaganda, incitement to violence, hate speech, or advocacy of hatred,” he said

“Facebook violates the law because they have allowed themselves to be a medium of hate speech, incitement, misinformation and disinformation,” he added

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