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The use of information technology in the country has increased over the years, and this can be attributed to the use of social media that has made it easier for people to communicate and share information. With this increase of use, there have been concerns on the sharing of false information of these platforms and cropping up of blog pages that post false content.

The Social Media Bill, officially called the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill 2019, aims to provide for regulation of social media platforms. It seeks to introduce a new part to the Kenya Information Communications Act with sections regulating on licensing of social media platforms, sharing of information by a licensed person, creates obligations to social media users, registers bloggers and seeks to give responsibility to the Communication Authority to develop a bloggers code of conduct in consultation with bloggers. The Bill also seeks to restrict the usage of social media by minors.

The Parliamentary statement also provides that the Amendment Act will not limit any right. However, all these new provision directly affect digital rights, i.e. the freedom of expression, the right to access information and the freedom of association. This Bill will see social media users requiring licenses to form groups, group administrators being held liable for the content posted in these groups and minors being restricted from being on the same platforms adults are in. The Act had been amended previously in 2013 so as to include regulation on the registration of mobile SIM card users.

We invite the public to comment and vote on the Bill on our digital public forum, Jadili. Click here to access the forum. If this link is not active in your browser, please copy and paste the entire link into your browser’s address bar:

http://jadili.ictpolicy.org/docs/the-kenya-information-and-communications-(amendment)-bill,-2019