Kenya’s Safaricom to disconnect hate mongers

Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom is taking a hard stance against hate speech. CEO Bob Collymore says the company will not think twice about disconnecting subscribers who promote and spread hate speech during the country’s elections.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (image: file)

“If we get a complaint about any subscriber doing this either on the Internet, or via text message, we will follow the laid down rules and procedures and ensure you are disconnected. We just have to take responsibility as the elections beckons because if you are found, you will no longer enjoy our services irrespective of what you have paid us,” Collymore said in Mombasa.

Collymore assured users that the Safaricom has the right measures in place, even though information can spread incredibly fast on the Internet. “Unlike in 2007 when it was text message only, things have become complex with coming of Internet and social media. The information spreads so fast but we have instruments to keep vigil on that complexity,” he added.

“Don’t be used to destroy what we all have worked for. Kenyans should learn from the past experience and see how this country was hurt by violence. Nobody wants to see that again. Let’s be patriotic and love our country and neighbours,” he urged.

Collymore also highlighted the Mkenya Daima (Forever Kenyan) campaign, which aims at rallying Kenyans together ahead of the General Election to maintain peace. “We have different ethnic groups but we all belong to one nation. Kenyans must remember that the people they hurt are their own. This is a great country that all of us should focus on developing it further”.

According to Nairobi’s The Star, “the campaign is being steered by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and will run in four phases until the General elections. Collymore’s statement on hate mongering will supplement the ongoing efforts by the government through the communication commission of Kenya and national cohesion and integration commission to monitor mongers in communication sector.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor