Team Set Up To Monitor Homophobia In Kenya’s Social Media

Africa 1NAIROBI, on Jan 23, 2013 Identity Kenya reported: SEVERAL SOCIAL media websites and groups are on the spot over their anti-gay sentiments and inflammatory remarks.

LGBTI activists are reportedly monitoring several Facebook pages and social media sites that are instigating hate and calling for violence against gay and lesbian Kenyans.

According to a source of the newly instituted monitoring team, the emergence of social media has taken homophobia to ‘new heights’.

‘Given its availability, anonymity and affordability, social media has revolutionized things. Sadly, one of that is homophobia. It is now easier to Tweet or post a negative comment about gays than it is to say it face to face to someone on the street. The same goes for violence where anyone can post inflammatory remarks.’

The monitoring team headed by Identity Kenya in collaboration with several media watchers will track and report persons and pages that call for violence.

The Government is currently also monitoring social media websites in a bid to curb tribal hate speech ahead of the polls in March.

This new initiative will go in tandem with the monitoring done by the Government, according to a source at Identity Kenya.

Among those pages being keenly watched are:

Nairobi Exposed-Criminal investigation department & undercover police

Lesbian Party of Kenya

Mchongoano Proper Reloaded

Nairobi Women Exposed

Kenyan Post

The data collected will be then forwarded to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission for possible prosecution, said Identity Kenya’s Editor, Denis Nzioka adding one of Identity Kenya’s role is to do media monitoring.

‘Hate speech against any person – and more so based on tribe, sex, gender or orientation – is a punishable crime according to the laws of Kenya. The information we receive will allow us to stem social media homophobia and ‘clean up’ content for LGBTI Kenyans.’

‘The move comes as we head to the March elections and thus it is imperative that any politically-instigated homophobia be checked now. We have seen politicians in droves using social media as a campaign platform and this brings with it challenges,’ added Nzioka.

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