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iHub By Angela Okune / April 10, 2013

Increased Levels of Online Hate Speech in February and March 2013


Hate speech has garnered growing interest in Kenya since the 2007/8 Post Election Violence where it was seen to have played a significant role. As a result, the Umati project was initiated in September last year to monitor the Kenyan online space for hate and dangerous speech, and will continue to run until May this year.

Find attached our second report this year, which highlights the effect of the March 4th elections on our research.

Between November 2012 and January 2013, Umati saw a declining number of extremely dangerous speech statements on the Kenyan online space. However, in the weeks leading up and following the elections, we saw an increase in such dangerous speech. Reasons for the increase can be credited to the 5 additional monitors on Saturdays and Sundays as well as the high use of social media during the election period. Even after adjusting for the increased volume due to weekend monitoring, we still see a doubling of hate statements collected in March as compared to those collected in February.

Umati March Report (PDF)

We look forward to your feedback and continuous support. We will be releasing our final research report by early June 2013.

Author : Angela Okune

Angela is Research Lead at iHub. She is keen on growing knowledge on the uptake and utility of ICTs in East Africa. She is also co-lead of Waza Experience, an iHub community initiative aimed at prompting under-privileged children to explore innovation and entrepreneurship concepts grounded in real-world experience.

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