Navigating Kenya’s Digital Landscape: A collective Call for Peace and Truth

Dr. Ruth Owino providing her comments at a fact-checking workshop organised by Africa Check and UNESCO.

By Dr. Ruth Owino

In the digital age, connectivity and information access come with challenges, notably the rise of hate speech and misinformation. Kenya, like many nations, grapples with these issues across platforms. The Kenyan landscape is marked by the dissemination of disinformation, misinformation, and hate speech, threatening the social fabric. Digital platforms and tech companies contribute to facilitating the spread of online harmful content. As such, it is also their responsibility to jointly tackle this issue, and there is a need to explore avenues to ensure robust content moderation while safeguarding freedom of expression.

Effectively counteracting these issues requires a multi-sectoral approach, which means leveraging on the expertise of diverse stakeholders. Regulators, policymakers, media stakeholders, CSOs, tech companies, and academia, can collaborate to formulate innovative strategies to address the root causes of digital misinformation. Digital platforms aren’t just conduits; they can be powerful tools for peace-building. Encouraging a collective commitment to content moderation and freedom of expression transforms these platforms into forces for positive change, demanding collaboration, transparency, and responsible use.

The fight against hate speech and misinformation is a shared responsibility, requiring experts from various sectors to foster understanding and enable effective solutions. Tech companies, as influential players, actively engage in initiatives promoting responsible platform use. They can collaborate with regulators and policymakers to implement robust content moderation policies and promote digital literacy.

Cross-sectoral partnerships ensure that well-rounded perspectives are considered and can spark the creation of innovative strategies to counter hate speech and misinformation. A collective commitment to fostering social media for peace, robust content moderation, and safeguarding freedom of expression contributes to a more inclusive, informed, and peaceful online environment.

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