Kenya’s ethnic reconciliation watchdog has given Meta’s Facebook seven days to tackle hate speech and provocation on the platform related to next month’s election, failing which its operations will be suspended.
East Africa’s largest economy is on the verge of campaigning ahead of the August 9 presidential, legislative and local officials elections.
Advocacy group Global Witness said in a report published on Thursday that Facebook Conceded and did more than a dozen political ads that violated Kenya’s rules.
Kenya’s National Commission for Reconciliation and Integration (NCIC) said the report confirms its own internal findings.
Danwas Makori, an NCIC commissioner, said on Friday, “Facebook is in violation of the laws of our country. They have allowed themselves to be a carrier of hate speech and provocation, misinformation and propaganda.”
meta A company spokesperson told Reuters it has taken “extensive steps” to eliminate hate speech and inflammatory content, and it is intensifying those efforts ahead of the election.
“We have a dedicated team of Swahili speakers and active detection technology to help remove harmful content quickly and on a large scale,” the spokesperson said.
Makori said the NCIC has held talks with the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK), which regulates social media firms, and that it will recommend suspending Meta’s operations.
He accused Meta of violating Kenya’s constitution and laws governing hate speech and the use of social media platforms.
“This country is bigger than a social media company or institution. We will not allow Facebook or any other social media company to jeopardize security,” he said.
Supporters of major presidential candidates, veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga and Vice President William Ruto, have used social media platforms to praise their candidates, persuade others to join them or oppose various misadventures. accused of.
The NCIC is a statutory body set up to promote ethnic harmony among Kenya’s 45 tribes, some of whom have targeted each other during violence in past elections.
© Thomson Reuters 2022