In the period leading to and after the 2017 general elections, there was a marked increase in the publication and sharing of fake news through social media. A lot of the fake news posts amounted to hate speech, ethnic contempt, and inflammatory messages. The National Commission and Integration Commission (NCIC), in carrying out its role, has set out to define boundaries when it comes to social media use to advocate for responsible posting without compromising constitutional freedoms. The Commission invited The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) to make contributions on possible interventions in dealing with the fake news. These could be in the form of proposed policy changes or ideas for self-regulation. This was a welcome initiative as it is in line with the constitutional principle of consulting the public whenever public officers make or implement public policy decisions. KICTANet held a three-day discussion on the fake news on its mailing list from 16th to 18th August 2017.
Thereafter, NCIC and KICTANet jointly held a breakfast meeting on 1st September themed: Talk to NCIC: KICTANET Community Engagement on Fake News, Dangerous Speech, and the Elections. This report covers both the online engagement as well as the breakfast meeting.
The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) is a multi-stakeholder Think Tank for ICT policy and regulation.