NCIC rolls out plan to monitor social media ahead of 2022 polls

NCIC vice-chair Wambui Nyutu said the commission had purchased gadgets to monitor social media conversations. [File, Standard]

National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has established a fully-fledged unit aimed at monitoring and deterring hate speech conversations on various social media platforms ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Speaking during a sensitization forum among young people in Kirinyaga, the NCIC vice-chair Wambui Nyutu revealed that the unit is mandated to trace individuals using social media to spread hatred amongst Kenyans.

“We have purchased gadgets to track down those who might be using fake accounts to spread hate on social media as the country prepares for elections,” Nyutu said.

She noted that currently the trend had shifted to use of social media platforms as opposed to the use of public rallies to spread hate speech as was the case before.

“The commission has instituted prosecution to some individuals who have propagated hate speech through social media and we are in constant contact with DCI to track down every individual who might be misusing the platforms,” she added.

This comes barely a month since the commission embarked on mapping out political violence hotspots in the country using past records to pick out the areas that have been most affected by political violence in the past.

“We have also started to engage the youths so that they are not misused by the politicians to cause violence during political campaigns,” Millicent Okatch, the commission’s Director of Programmes said.

[Additional Reporting by Timothy Kariuki]