Abusive tweets in Kenya could now lead to jail time


Over the past few years a lot of interesting questions have been raised about whether what we say online should have serious consequences in the “real world”, whether it’s Frankie Boyle’s crude jokes, a random person poking fun at an athlete or those in the public eye breaking the law by revealing sensitive information.

Here in the UK the laws are still rather blurry and there’s no hard and fast rules about what’s considered right and wrong. In a way this means there’s a lot of confusion, but it also makes sense to take everything on a case by case basis.

Well that definitely isn’t the situation in Kenya anymore, as the government has declared it’ll be making a commitment to monitor social media and take serious action against those who incite violence or use hateful language.

The decision has been made recently in order to keep an eye on the way people talk about the candidates and political parties involved in the general election that’s taking place on the 4th March.

According to The Next Web, the Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication in the country, Bitange Ndemo, has declared that huge fines and jail terms of up to three years could be issued to those who use “abusive or threatening words on the likes of Facebook and Twitter”. This is obviously a one off case for now, but it’s interesting that a whole government would look to introduce such a broad brush approach. We just wonder how the Ministry of Information and Communication is looking to define what’s “abusive”, which is clearly very subjective.

Related: TWITTER: So what can and can’t you REALLY say online?

[Via The Next Web]

Becca Caddy