Kenyan social media managers and bloggers may soon be required to obtain licenses.
The battle against bloggers and social media managers has been there for quite some time and understandably the affected parties such as politicians and celebrities wouldn’t mind this proposed bill. This bill has been proposed by Malava Member of Parliament Malulu Injedi.
While it’s clear who a blogger is, it may not be as clear as who a social media admin is, well as long as you manage any social media platform including WhatsApp you will not be exempted from this rule. If this bill is passed you will have to be officially licensed by the Communications Authority of Kenya before even thinking of creating any social media platform. This is yet another attempt to hold people responsible for the content shared on online forums, however, is it doable?
The role of the CA will be to monitor the discussions and posts therein.
The bill states :
“A social media user shall ensure that any content published, written or shared through the social media platform does not degrade or intimidate a recipient of the content,”
What will bloggers be required to do?
If you’re in charge of “collecting, writing, editing and presenting of news or news articles on social media platforms or on the internet” then you’ll be required to get a permit from the CA before operating. There will be a code of conduct created then those who would be approved will be listed in the regulator’s bloggers’ Registry.
“The new part will introduce new sections to the Act on licensing of social media platforms, sharing of information by a licensed person, creates obligations to social media users, registration of bloggers and seeks to give responsibility to CA to develop a Bloggers’ code of conduct in consultation with the bloggers.”
Repercussions you may have to face if you violate the rules.
Assuming that the bill passes, there might be a bunch of rules that you may have to follow and sign that you will not violate the rules. So if you do violate the said rules then you risk jail time to two years or a minimum fine of KSh 500,000. This is yet another attempt to curb the freedom of speech that bloggers and content creators currently enjoy, two years ago it didn’t pass and we don’t think Kenyans will be willing to adhere to the said rules.