Francis Kaparo has put WhatsApp administrators on notice saying they will be held to account for fueling violence ahead of the August 8 elections.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Chair Francis Ole Kaparo said the commission has already identified 21 Whatsapp groups encouraging chaos.
“Currently, we have identified 21 County WhatsApp platforms and we have indicated to their administrators that they have to take action before we deal with them,” Kaparo said.
Kaparo further said that Whatsapp groups administrators have the responsibility of ensuring members do not spread rumours, misiniformation or hate speech. “We will deal firmly with administrators of Whatsapp groups being used to spread hate speech,” Kaparo said.
He also said his commission has begun targeting websites that impersonate dignitaries or political parties.
“These proxies are the major source of fake news and to a larger extent, the problem of misinformation and hate speech,” he said.
Kaparo gave an example of a Busia-based blogger who posted on social media that non-Kikuyus living in Limuru had been killed and yet nothing of the sort had happened.
“When we tracked down the blogger, we found him in Busia and he had not even been to Limuru. These are the kind of senseless activities we want to eradicate,” he said.
Kenyans have reacted angrily over the news and took to social media to express their frustrations using the hashtag #WhatsappAdmins
— Dennis Muturia (@Dmu2ria) July 17, 2017
Admins have no control over what is posted in their social media spaces! How do you even establish criminal intent?? #WhatsappAdmins
— tash_dante_esq. (@Daniel_Amalemba) July 17, 2017