The National Steering Committee on Media Monitoring has warned it will shut down blogs that carry out “unprofessional, unscientific and biased” polling in Kenya.
Secretary to the committee and director of public communications Mary Ombara said some blogs have heightened tension on the “blogosphere” and will be deactivated.
“The committee wishes to report that by midnight on Monday, bloggers had resumed the posting of vicious, hateful and dangerous political messages. The situation was further aggravated by unprofessional, unscientific and biased polling in the blogs that pitched some presidential aspirants above others as alleged winners of the debate,” she said.
“This has inevitably begun to cause serious tension in the blogospheres with ripple effects in a number of institutions in the country.”
The National Steering Committee on Media Monitoring’s announcement comes days after president Mwai Kibaki expressed concern over the negative uses of social media by youth.
The committee further refutes claims that the action to deactivate such blogs amounts to curtailing freedom of information. A number of blogs have been shut down, including the widely known mashada.com.
“It is critical at this point that each one of them makes a serious and spirited attempt to quell Hate Speech among their supporters as they expound and defend their manifestoes. The committee wishes to report that it is in the process of once again deactivating the newly opened blogs that are perpetuating hate,” it stated.
With the next presidential debate set for the February 25, experts observe that many bloggers will be watching to see how the committee deals with the issue particularly of the unprofessional polling that has the potential to recur in the next debate.