Kenyan bloggers and group administrators of social media apps, WhatsApp and Facebook, in the country will now have to report to the regulators before making any communication over the platforms.
In a new bill named the Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill 2019, bloggers and group admins will be required to register with the Communications Authority of Kenya. Some of the details to be submitted to the authority include their location addresses and some information about their users.
According to the Techweez, the bill comes in at a time when app administrators and bloggers have let unregulated messages stay online. Additionally, groups have been known to be notoriously shady, and have no boundaries when it comes to what members post.
Eventually, admins will be required to delete and kick out group members who post scandalous materials and content. The bill also seeks to protect children, who should not be engaging in online activities that involve adults.
The bill will also set a keen eye on the rampantly increasing blogs in Kenya that have been reported to post wrong or unsubstantiated information. Blogs that will be online without the CA’s nod will attract a KES 0.5M fine or a jail term of two years for the bloggers.
Kenya is not the first East African country to suggest the registration and monitoring of blogs and social media activity.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) recently expressed the need to have Ugandan bloggers, influeners, and social media users that have financial gains in the system to be registered and charged for their business gains.
Tanzania, last year, also ordered all unregistered bloggers and online forums to suspend their websites immediately or face criminal prosecution, as critics accused the government of tightening control of internet content.
Regulations in the country made it compulsory for bloggers and owners of other online forums such as YouTube channels to register with the government and pay up to $900 for a licence. Per capita income in Tanzania is slightly below $900 a year.