Kenya IGF Online Discussions Day 1: Content Regulation on the Internet

@John Paul
Your idea of creating counter content is so on point! It is important
to offer solutions to challenges. 

Best regards

Githaiga, Grace

On Thursday, 12-07-2018 at 02:00 John Paul Karijo via kictanet wrote:

I think the internet and all the various platforms that have been
built on top of it have done so much for freedom.
The fact that anyone can now become a content producer and that anyone
can have an audience.

The internet has helped push the boundaries of creativity… challenge
morality… challenge cultures… 

My greatest fear wouldn’t be to regulate consumption – that has always
failed… (when we were kids pre-internet days there was always ways
to beat regulation with porn flicks and magazines. They were so
pervasive that they found their way into even mission schools) – okay
moving away from this sex and morality obsession.

My fear would be the pervasiveness of content that no longer
challenges the thought process… content that does not encourage
research or reading or the seeking of answers. The pervasiveness of
content that holds simplistic views of the world.
In answer to my own fears I would not urge that such content is
removed, censored or charged fees for being on the internet – no my
answer would be to produce thought provoking content and compete with
“shallow” content. – Counter Content
In answer to my own fears I would promote the whole development of the
person in school – think curriculum reforms… I would want to create
young people who can think… young people who have learnt how to
learn…. how to see truth and facts. – “Consumer Development”

So I would encourage proponents of censorship to instead become
sponsors of counter content. If you have strict moral beliefs…
create content that encourage the practice of such a code of
morality… share this content and make it pervasive… if there is
fake news – counter it with investigative and in depth truth.
The truth has to find ways to move as fast as the fake… The internet
is the platform where this has to happen – “Counter Pervasiveness”

Of course there is the thing with economics – we have to make it pay
to produce truth… we have to make depth rank better than mediocrity.

If decadence sells it is because our society and our economy is built
on decadence.

(a) What does ‘_content regulation__’__ _mean?
I would define this as any control that is imposed on content that
does not come from the producer or the consumer of the content that
would prevent production or consumption of such content. 
Forms include platform control, parental control, government control
methods could include | fees e.g. reading research material on JSTOR,
taxes and social media access fees | outright viewing bans such as
what is done by KFCB in Kenya | The ability of platforms to take down
reported content – compare Facebook and Reddit… Reddit is close to
anarchy but really that is what the internet was made for…

(b) How is content regulation achieved?
I think regulation isn’t achieved only by banning… making costs of
production prohibitive or punitive is regulation enough. Case in point
what Uganda and Tanzania are doing in terms of social media access
fees or blogging tax.

The internet was designed for freedom and openness – any financial
charge to access or create content is a way of regulation and in some
cases suppression.

(c) What categories of content face the most regulation? 
I feel that Video and Film face the most regulation… it is so
difficult to be a producer of these in Kenya… aside from the
possibility of bans even the access to support to screen…to
shoot…. to fund a production is an uphill task.

So instead of regulating films like Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki – I would
have it screened in class and ask students to discuss. (Remember
Consumer Development)

Also it is counterproductive to ban screening of Kenyan producers
films i.e. regulate content produced within our country while if I
walk to Moi Avenue right now I can buy several seasons of the American
production L – Word and I can get several seasons of BBCs Lip

If I am looking for deeper stories instead of just mainstream lesbian
stories I can access content from film Producers in Canada such as
Patricia Rozema. I think Wanuri’s short film would rank even higher on
depth than the examples I have mentioned.

So anyway based on my earlier proposal on using “Counter Content” and
“Counter Pervasiveness” and “Consumer Development” we are doing
ourselves dis-favor by banning our own locally produced works…
banning our own stories… while being inundated by content that
doesn’t tell our truth… our reality.

With kind regards


Believe in yourself then you can change your world

Skype: john.paul.em
Cell: +254735586956

On Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 12:11 AM esther kamande via kictanet wrote:

Hi Listers, 

(b) How is content regulation achieved?


Through intermediary liability laws. These laws generally require
platforms to remove content in at least some circumstances, with
obligations usually triggered when the platform learns about illegal
material. Platforms operate notice and take-down programs as a way
both to comply with such laws and to enforce their own discretionary
content policies. 


(c) What categories of content face the most regulation? 

Internet platforms largely as a result of the mounting public demands
for aggressive intervention.

Calls for companies like YouTube and Facebook to fight problems
ranging from “fake news” to hate speech to online radicalization
seem to make daily headlines even gathering support from the top
leadership not just locally but globally i.e British prime minister
Theresa May, “Industry needs to go further and faster” in removing
prohibited content by developing automated filters to detect and
suppress it automatically.”

We sometimes decry the intrusion of platform moderation, and sometimes
decry its absence.



Esther Kamande 

Advocate | Policy Analyst

Twitter: @enkamande

On Tue, Jul 10, 2018 at 9:26 AM kanini mutemi via kictanet wrote:

Hello Listers, 

I’ll start us off with the discussion on Content Regulation on the
internet. I find it useful for us to first understand what content
regulation means. To this end, I invite your contributions to the
following questions–

(a) What does ‘_content regulation__’__ _mean?

(b) How is content regulation achieved?

(c) What categories of content face the most regulation? 

Let’s go! 

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