The Kenyan government has made a new provision that allows for WhatsApp group administrators to be charged over the content they allow their members to generate and share ahead of the August elections.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairperson Francis Ole Kaparo made the revelation during a Mkenya Daima peaceful poll campaign forum organized by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
Kaparo said that WhatsApp administrators are responsible for hate messages posted on their group and warned that the government will crack down on them.
“We have identified 21 WhatsApp accounts that have been encouraging incitement and hate speech across the country. We are dealing with them and the only way to counter this vice is to track down the administrators of these accounts,” Kaparo said.
The former National Assembly Speaker also called on the media to aid NCIC’s cause by ensuring proper gatekeeping of their content.
Communications Authority Director General Francis Wangusi echoed Kaparo’s sentiments. He said the authority was working with relevant stake holders to ensure that the country holds a peaceful election.
“We are keeping tabs on all communication platforms right from telecommunications to media platforms to ensure that people do not abuse their right to access of information. We will make sure that the internet is up and running but we will crack down on hate mongers,” Wangusi said.
The idea of charging WhatsApp group administrators has not gone down well with Kenyans who say the government should be tackling politicians and not the citizens.
Some have gone ahead to point out that security features on the social media platform like the data encryption feature gives protection to a number making it nearly impossible for their conversations to be accessed.
Others have jokingly said they could make everyone on the group accountable for the content by making them administrators.
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