The Kenyan blog-sphere has grown in leaps and bounds with bloggers challenging mainstream media houses as sources of news and information. The growth of these platforms also means some of the blogs will publish unconfirmed reports and malicious information. Such instances has led to the clamor by some players calling for regulation of the blogging sub-sector. We here at Techweez advocate for responsible blogging but not for regulation as it mirrors censorship.
In recent times, the National Bank of Kenya wrote to the Central Bank of Kenya Governor and the Cabinet Secretary for ICT seeking intervention in dealing with increasing cases of defamation of banks emanating from unregulated blogging. The bank states that it was particularly concerned by a social media user who spread malicious and untruthful information about banks and other companies, in alleged extortion scams. Additionally, the Bank wrote to the Media Council for verification of the blogger’s identity and to check if the council has jurisdiction over blogging. The bank singled out the fact that bloggers do not subscribe to a code of ethics or have requirements for formal education or certificate in journalism.
A local daily carried a report where ICT CS Joe Mucheru, in what seemed as a response to the bank, stated that bloggers should reveal their identities. At the #ConnectedKE summit in Diani, the CS has stated that he was misquoted in the report. The CS said his statement meant individuals should not spread unsubstantiated reports simply because the internet guarantees anonymity. The CS affirmed that he supported the freedoms of expressions of individuals but advocates for responsible use of the internet.