By Jackline Akello
The Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the Act to regulate the use of social media platforms. The Bill introduces stringent rules for bloggers, social media platforms, social media users and social media group administrators that raise questions on the intention of the Bill. Questions as to what the Bill intends to cure are also inevitable.
An analysis of the Bill shows that its provisions are not in line with the provisions of the Constitution as they violate the right to freedom of expression, and the proportionality principle which aims to determine whether the limitation/interference of a particular right is justifiable. The Bill provides for; registration of bloggers, licensing of social media platforms, and responsibility of social media users and group administrators.
It starts by defining “blogging” and “social media platforms”. Section 2 of the Bill defines “blogging” as collecting, writing, editing and presenting of news or news articles in social media platforms or in the internet.
This then begs the questions; Are blogs unrelated to news not regarded as blogs within the meaning of the Bill? Are blogs not related to news not regarded as blogs at all? This author’s opinion is that the drafters of the Bill narrowed the scope of this definition with the likely intention of targeting “fake news” and limiting people’s voices and critique of government practices.Continue reading