We say the words: “Je ne suis pas #CharlieHebdo” (“I am not #CharlieHebdo“) with due respect to all those affected by the terrorist attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices yesterday in the French capital, Paris. As Kenyans, we are all too familiar with the pain, loss and damage caused by acts of terror. So, we empathise with the French people and we say to them: “Poleni sana”. However, as #CharlieHebdo continues to flood timelines, media outlets and newspapers, we must decolonise our minds and remember not to get sucked into the Western Media frenzy. As Kenyans and Africans at large, we have very complex and pressing problems of our own that are not so fortunate as to receive the worldwide coverage currently being given to #CharlieHebdo.
I’m all for using the virtual space and integrating digital citizens and all that, but why do people bring their offline ish online? No, seriously, why?!? If I sent you an email, would you reply to my P.O.Box? Or if I wrote you a text message, why respond with a phone call? Well, okay, bad example, but you get my point, yes?
And no, I’m not talking about posts like this one, or this one, or this one. Good customer care should be a statutory right, and decrying the lack thereof is a perfectly valid use of the interwebs. What I am talking about is people taking trolling to a whole new level by airing offline laundry on the net – clean or otherwise.
Last night, as with all nights, I was tuned to BBC radio. There was a feature on Cyberbullying spurred by the suicide of a 15-year old girl from Canada. It was a tragic story given that only five weeks ago, the girl had “uploaded a video to YouTube describing years of bullying that she said drove her to drugs and alcohol.” Her cry for help was misjudged as a pathetic search for attention. Clearly, no one bothered: The bullying continued and she eventually took her own life.
I pondered on the story while listening to various experts views on why cyberbullying occurs and what can be done to prevent it. While their views were insightful, I found it disconcerting that they seemed to focus on Cyberbullying among children.
Those who have been using social media for quite a while know very well that Cyberbullying is a reality among adults. As the number of social media users in Kenya increases, certain issues arise regarding the use of various sites. Concerns have been raised over Hate Speech, Incitement as well as Ethnic and Religious Targeting. But few of us are talking about Cyberbullying.
Experts say anytime you are harassed, humiliated or threatened online it’s cyberbullying.
As the country’s SM user crowd grows there are those who seek to stand out and make a name for themselves whichever way they can. Some, more so the tech savvy, will result to Cyberbullying.
This was my experience in the last 24hrs:- Continue reading
“The persistent controversy about the reach of the state’s power to restrict free thought and speech in a democracy suggests that freedom of expression has still not made an unassailable case for itself.” – Githu Muigai, Esq. (September 1993).
To speak or to otherwise express oneself is a natural, and indeed an essential human activity, part of what it means to be human. Expression is therefore a means of fulfillment of the human personality. On a larger scale, freedom of expression is essential to the functioning of a democratic state. For people to make political choices they must have access to information and to different view-points. In a democracy, the right to express grievances and to propagate or criticise policies enables people to contribute to peaceful progress and change their society.
Well, atleast in theory.
Enter the curious case of Robert Alai.
Editor: The following letter is from @BintiM, a close friend of the blog. It voices an opinion shared by many on the reckless abuse of social media by the Capital in the Morning crew. It’s a good thing she wrote it because she’s a lot nicer than I am; and a lot of the complaints we’ve heard about it were a lot more incendiary. But an issue like this does require a calm voice, lest it get blown out of proportion.
Words By BINTIM
“Dear Capital Fm,
I write this letter to express my strong disapproval and disappointment with one of your Twitter accounts @984inthemorning. Continue reading