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NCIC to deter hate speech rife in social media

National Cohesion and Integration Commission have established a fully-fledged unit to monitor and deter hate speech conversations being perpetuated through social media platforms.
NCIC Director of Programmes and Technical Services Ms. Millicent Okach has said the unit is mandated to trace and nab individuals using social media to spread hatred and negative ethnicity.
She noted that currently the trend of using public rallies to spread hate speech is shifting to use of social media platforms which has necessitated the establishment of the unit to monitor and curb the spread of hatred among other negative sentiments that may spark conflicts in the country.
Okach, speaking during a sensitization forum among young people in Murang’a on Thursday, observed that the commission has instituted prosecution to some individuals who have propagated hate speech through social media.
“We are working closely with the Office of Public Prosecutions and Communications Authority of Kenya to flag out individuals who are engaged in conversations likely to cause incitements that may spark conflicts through various social media platforms,” she stated.
Through the unit, Okach said they are able to conduct investigations on social media conversations and present them to DPP for prosecutions.
The director said some individuals have been charged in court allegedly for spreading incitements and hate speech through Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
“Through continuous monitoring the move has deterred the spread of hate speech through social media platforms, a trend which is common among young people,” she added.
The sensitization forums, Okach said are targeting youth who in most cases are perpetrators and victims of violence.
She said the commission is holding similar forums in more than 10 counties in the country in the current quarter to educate young people how to embrace peace and tranquility in their areas.
“From what we have gathered through the forums, young people have expressed concerns over incitements and hate speech perpetuated through social media,” noted the Director.
She further observed that early campaigns are recipe for chaos considering young people being used to campaign for politicians are jobless.
“My appeal to political leaders is to focus on developments which will improve the livelihoods of young people instead of using them to engage in divisive politics,” stated Okach.
The commission, she added will continue to engage various stakeholders in ensuring there is unity and cohesion among various communities in the country.
“We will not spare an individual trying to divide Kenyans or cause violence. The law will be applied appropriated to ensure cohesion and tranquility exists,” noted Okach.
By Bernard Munyao

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