Media Urged to Monitor and Counter Hate Speech Online

Media Urged to Monitor and Counter Hate Speech Online

(L to R) Dr. Sam Kamau, Faculty, AKU-GSMC; Stephen Musyoka, Social Media Strategist, team TRINC; Noah Miller, Managing Director, Sochin Limited; Catherine Anite, Human rights lawyer, Article 19 and Nerima Wako, Director, Siasa Place share a light moment during the Incitement, Dangerous Speech, Advocacy: Rights & Response in Social Media & Beyond Roundtable discussions held at GSMC campus in Nairobi.


NAIROBI, AUGUST 2017:  As the third and final roundtable on incitement, dangerous speech and advocacy took center stage today at the Aga Khan University School of Media and Communications (GSMC), the media has been urged to monitor, expose and counter hate speech and incitement especially on social media. The final roundtable was supported by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and it was aimed at ensuring that Rights and Response on Social Media and Beyond is observed in the upcoming election in Kenya.

Dr. Sam Kamau, a lecturer at GSMC highlighted the importance of bringing together different voices and stakeholders to explore effective ways to monitor and counter dangerous speech before, during and after the elections. “We need to find the balance between permissible and impermissible expressions and explore how best we can protect freedom of speech while maintaining civility on social media and online conversations,” he said.

Noah Miller who is the Managing Director, Sochin Agency also talked about the need to continuously monitoring hate speech even beyond the election period as cases of hate speech are under-reported, mostly due to challenges inherent in monitoring. “Journalists and civil society organizations should receive more training on how to report on hate speech, and perpetrators of hate speech should be prosecuted in order to increase deterrence,” he said, adding that the manner in which these matters are reported will go a long way in sustaining professionalism in journalism whilst responsibly informing the public.

Through these roundtables, GSMC continues to nurture its committed to keeping the knowledge discourse alive among media practitioners, whilst also supporting the wider vision of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Kenya Vision 2030.

Speakers: Dr. Sam Kamau (Faculty, AKU-GSMC), Noah Miller, (Director, Sochin Agency), Stephen Musyoka (Social Media Strategist, team TRINC), James Wanyande (Senior legal officer, National cohesion and integration commission), Njoki Chege (Journalist, Nation Media Group), Nerima Wako, (Director, Siasa Place), and Catherine Anite, (Human rights lawyer, Article 19).