Hate Speech As A Form Of Cyber Bullying
Have you ever experienced cyberbullying? Ever encountered hate speech? How did you handle it?
Well, hate speech has been a form of cyberbullying over the years and according to the survey done recently, the rate has increased especially now as the country is heading for general elections. Most people do not know how to differentiate between freedom of expression and hate speech.
There are various definitions of freedom of expression, depending on a country and its constitution. Going by article 33 of the Kenya Constitution, every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas, freedom of artistic creativity; and academic freedom.
On the other hand, according to the NCIC definition of hate speech is too broad, from an ‘ethnic hatred’ perspective, and encompasses threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behavior, written material, public performances (including plays), visual images, and programs.
Not only the netizens get problems in identifying the difference but also journalists. In that regard, Internews organization held a 3 days’ virtual workshop from Feb 24-26th with an aim of helping journalists understand the difference especially these times when most things have been digitalized and also there are political campaigns going on in the country.
As internet-based communication continues to rise, the prevalence of cyberbullying is expected to increase. Unlike other forms of bullying, hate speech kind of cyberbullying creates a long-term online record that can affect victims for a very long period of time.
According to trainer Tole Nyatta, there are ways of countering hate speech, “as journalists, we can counter hate speech by boosting positive messages of tolerance. Part of modeling what we do not want to see is modeling what we want to see”
“Notify organizations fighting hate speech about the worst instances you see. Tracking hate, where it’s coming from, and who it’s directed at is an important part of fighting it”, adds Tole.
Countering hate speech involves helping people to see the world in a different way. It helps create peace and togetherness among people in society.
“Among the people who experience various forms of cyber malpractice especially hate speech, include politicians, celebrities, and even teenagers”, says Abraham Mariita who is a media specialist at Internews.
“Journalists should be careful about the thin line that separates hate speech and freedom of expression, especially when reporting politics. If you are not sure of the difference, consult before doing the story in order to avoid getting yourself in trouble”, adds Abraham during his presentation.
According to the meeting held last year by The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) which hosted several executives in the ICT space to explore the menace that is cyber-bullying and general cybersecurity cases, they came up with ways of reporting hate speech confidentially.
Visit the National KE-CIRT/CC portal here. (courtesy of tech weez)
- A few lines down the page, you will see a ‘Report An Incident’ option.
- Click on ‘Report.’
- The next is filled with spaces that should be populated with details about your case, including name, organization, contact address, subject (could be abusive content) and an area for a remark.
- Click ‘submit’ to send your complaint to the relevant authorities.
- You can send a letter detailing your case to the Director-General, CA Kenya via P.O. Box 14448 – 00800 Nairobi.
- Report your case physically to the CA Office at CA Centre, Waiyaki Way.
- Send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ring them using the following hotlines: +254703042700 or +254730172700.