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Teenagers warned over social media conduct

22 May 2014, 19:52 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The National Steering Committee on Media Monitoring has warn teenagers who are exchanging obscene content via social media to halt the practice or face being prosecuted.

NSCMM Chairperson,Mary Ombara noted that the committee recorded the alarming social media trend among students during their four-week April holiday where revealed that such content was shared on WhatsApp, Google Chat and Facebook among other social media channels.

“Exchanges of obscene, nude personal pictures and adult content sites on Smart-phones rose by over 60% from same period in 2013. It is criminal offence under the Penal Laws of Sexual Offence Act to engage in such activities and young people are equally punishable,” said Ombara.

She added that over 200 000 sexting messages were shared during the holiday season among students and reiterated that the committee will partner with the civil society to educated youths against the practice in addition to urging the government to periodically and randomly liaising with mobile telephone operators to assist in tracking and stopping the trend.

Ombara also noted that the committee discovered alarming ethnic profiling being actively perpetuated on both social media and traditional channels of communication hence hindering the attainment of national cohesion and integration.

“Specific communities associated with terrorism are being denied accommodation and access to public transport and facilities. We are also aware of parents making massive withdrawals of pupils in certain schools in Nairobi, said Ombara,

“The Government regrets the wanton killings of innocent wananchi through terrorist attacks but equally warns perpetrators of ethnic profiling that the action is tantamount to hate speech and incitement. In effect, it violates the National Integration and Cohesion Commission Act and is prosecutable.”

The NSCMM Chairperson stated that acts associated with xenophobia, ethnic profiling and labeling inevitably lead to deterioration of the country’s national integration, cohesion and mutual co-existence.

She warned citizens to abstain from such acts and called on both religious and opinion leaders, and civil society to actively join the government in a massive nationwide public outreach campaign to educate people on importance of providing security-related information to relevant agencies.

“This is critical and is how countries dealing with terrorism have managed the vice. Kenyans must tirelessly give information, information and information,” stated Ombara.

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