This evening, Dr Fred Matiangi, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT proposed the creation for an ethical structure which will govern the Kenyan blogosphere. This was during the release of the report about the State of Blogging and Social Media in Kenya at the Nailab. This is along the lines of regulation that has been a hot topic with various parties feeling that bloggers needed to be regulated. The general sentiment among bloggers and progressive individuals is that bloggers should not be regulated as they present the alternative voice where the media has a one-sided reporting of events.
Matiang’i who was echoed by ICT Authority CEO Victor Kyalo noted that bloggers needed to come up with their own framework that they will use to govern members in the quest to have a sober conversation. The two government officials were keen to state that the government respects bloggers and social media users saying that the government was not keen on stifling bloggers in any way.
Matiang’i mentioned that Cabinet recently passed the Data protection bill, which has been tabled to parliament and wants bloggers to engage in discussing the bill once it’s published. A security report listed social media as one of the security challenges in Kenya and thus the need to have a structured approach to this topic, and not giving terrorists a free reign on the platforms.
Later during the evening, Njeri Wangari, the project lead of the report went on stage and released several pointers from the report:
1. BAKE has been in existence since 2011 and has 500 members and 2000 quasi members.
2. The organization has continued to conduct training and outreach by carrying out talks, workshops, seminars on the opportunities of blogging.
3. Bake started The Kenya Monitor which focuses on fostering citizen journalism by giving bloggers and content creators a platform to report stories from all over the country.
1. There are an estimated 15,000 blogs in the country with 3000 being active blogs. The blogging platforms recognized are the ones hosted by WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr.
2. According to a report from Moses Kemibaro blog , Kenya has 700,000 monthly active users on Twitter and in the region of 1.4 million to 2.1 million active users in total. Also, 80% of those active Twitter users in Kenya access it daily, which puts the number at over 570,000 users. Twitter’s growth has been doubling year on year, which means that around by next year there will be around 2.8 million to 4.2 million users
3. The first Kenyan on Twitter was registered on 28th March 2007 and thre growth of Twitter users peaked between 2012 and 2013 according to Digital Rand’s 2014 Social Media Status report
4. According to Facebook’s monetization platform, there are 4.3 million Kenyan users on the platform.
5. From the ICT Sector Statistics Report for the period October to December 2014, the estimated number of internet users increased from 23.2 million to 26.1 million. Also in the country, 64.3 per 100 inhabitants have access to the internet up from 57.1 per 100 inhabitants the previous quarter.