Kenyans upbeat on advantages of social media however cautious of abuse

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Kenyans upbeat on advantages of social media however cautious of abuse


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Abstract

  • When social media platforms reminiscent of Fb, YouTube and Twitter got here, entry to the hidden info grew to become straightforward.
  • Now, the general public may publish or entry crucial info with a click on of a button unencumbered.
  • This instilled accountability amongst high-ranking officers who feared being uncovered.

Corruption, nepotism and tribalism in organisations went unchecked earlier than social media platforms emerged within the 1990s and early 2000s.

Undeveloped types of communication reminiscent of letters, phone traces, telegraphs and faxes restricted the move of knowledge to the general public.

Usually, the residents could be stored at nighttime on damning instances in each the private and non-private sectors.

The loophole enabled crooked officers to hide scandalous info with ease.

When social media platforms reminiscent of Fb, YouTube and Twitter got here, entry to the hidden info grew to become straightforward.

Now, the general public may publish or entry crucial info with a click on of a button unencumbered.

This instilled accountability amongst high-ranking officers who feared being uncovered.

Have been it not for the media, a myriad of scandals would have slipped beneath the rug. In consequence, help for social media platforms amongst Kenyans may be very excessive.

In line with the newest report by the Pan-African survey firm Afrobarometer, eight in each 10 (80 per cent) Kenyans help digital media reporting on authorities’s misdeeds and corruption.

“Solely 1 / 4 (19 per cent) suppose that damaging reporting will hurt than remedy the nation,” the Afrobarometer report exhibits.

Cell phones

This comes at a time when Kenya leads the area when it comes to cellphones entry.

A 2020 Airtel Africa report confirmed that the proportion of individuals proudly owning cellphones in Kenya stands at 62 per cent.

Kenya’s distinctive cell penetration is the very best within the area, forward of Zambia (54 per cent), Tanzania (49 per cent), Nigeria (45 per cent), Uganda (42 per cent) and Democratic Republic of Congo (39 per cent).

The uptake of smartphones has been aided by the entry of inexpensive Chinese language smartphones reminiscent of Infinix, Oppo, Techno and Redmi. A few of the made-in-China smartphones retail as little as Sh3,000.

A report by Jumia Enterprise Intelligence and GSMA Cellular titled ‘White Paper 2017’ discovered that smartphone penetration in Kenya had grown to greater than 60 per cent of the inhabitants over the previous 5 years due to the inflow of inexpensive telephones.

One other issue fuelling entry to info is inexpensive Web that some few years again price an arm and a leg.

A report launched final yr by a expertise suppose tank, Analysis ICT Africa discovered that Kenya was amongst nations with inexpensive Web.

The report revealed that Tanzania costs the bottom in East Africa at Sh218 per gigabyte, adopted by Rwanda at Sh220, Kenya at Sh244, Uganda at Sh273 and Burundi at Sh302 as of September 2019.

Media censorship

The value is increased in nations reminiscent of Sierra Leone (Sh656) and Togo (Sh848), and among the costliest knowledge throughout the continent have been in West Africa — for instance, Guinea-Bissau (Sh1,695), Chad (Sh1187) and Mauritania (Sh978).

Kenyans are, nonetheless, divided on media censorship.

Whereas a half (56 per cent) say the media must be allowed to publish with out the federal government’s consent, practically 40 per cent desire censorship.

Media freedom within the nation has been by thick and skinny. For instance, within the 1990s and early 2000s, media independence in Kenya was restricted.

The State-owned Kenya Broadcasting Company (KBC) acted as its mouthpiece and barely it criticised the federal government.

Truthful protection

It was not till the 2000s when media freedom grew after the federal government liberalised the airwaves and licensed tv stations such because the Citizen TV and KTN in addition to FM radio stations.

The Afrobarometer notes that two-thirds (72 per cent) of Kenyans consider that media freedoms exist in Kenya.

Whereas half of the locals suppose the media don’t present truthful protection, 41 per cent suppose in any other case.

“9 per cent stated that they have no idea or refused to reply,” reads a part of the report.

False information has nonetheless emerged as the most important menace to democracy with the media on the centre stage.

“The perpetrators cited most frequently are politicians and political events (65 per cent), adopted intently by social media customers (60 per cent). About half blame authorities officers (51 per cent), the media (50 per cent), and activists and curiosity teams (46 per cent),” it exhibits.

Kenyans are practically cut up between optimistic (54 per cent) and damaging (24 per cent and neither optimistic nor damaging (21 per cent) on the impact of digital media.

Respondents overwhelmingly say social media inform customers about politics (88 per cent) and assist empower individuals politically (73 per cent).

Equally, they see social media as making individuals extra more likely to consider false info (75 per cent) and making customers much less tolerant of individuals whose political beliefs differ from their very own (64 per cent).

OMG is continually cementing what Social-First means, the way it positively transforms society over the long-term and most significantly, it should be the industrial mannequin companies convert to. The ethics we reside by, form our values and tradition. We’ve made nice strides due to the help we obtain from the general public.

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