meta: Kenyan ministers rally around Meta’s Facebook after watchdog’s ultimatum

Kenya does not intend to close Facebookwho belongs to Objectiveits ICT minister said on Monday after the national cohesion watchdog gave the platform seven days to comply with hate speech rules or face suspension.

The National Cohesion and Inclusion Commission (NCIC) on Friday accused Facebook of breaking the constitution and laws of Kenya for failing to combat hate speech and incitement to hatred on the platform by August 1. . 9 national elections.

“We have no plan to shut down any of these platforms,” ​​Joe Mucheru, Minister of Information, Communications and Technology, told Reuters. “Freedom of the press is something we cherish, whether it’s the (mainstream) media or social media.”

His statement echoes that of Home Secretary Fred Matiangi, who accused the NCIC of making haphazard decisions over the weekend, and promised the platform would not be shut down.

“They (NCIC) should have consulted widely because they don’t have the power to shut anyone down. They don’t license anyone,” Mucheru said.

When issuing its ultimatum, the NCIC said it was consulting with the Communications Authority of Kenya, which regulates the industry, adding that it would recommend that Facebook’s operations be suspended if it did not comply.

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Meta has taken “significant steps” to eliminate hate speech and inflammatory content, and is stepping up those efforts ahead of the election, a company spokesperson told Reuters.

Mucheru agreed, adding that the platform removed 37,000 posts related to hate speech during the election period.

Supporters of leading presidential candidates, veteran opposition Raila Odinga and Vice President William Ruto, have used social media platforms to praise their candidates, persuade others to join them, or accuse opposing parties of various misdeeds.

Some of Kenya’s 45 tribes have been targeted in violence in previous polls, but Mucheru said this election was different and the country was enjoying peace and calm despite heightened political activity.

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