A project by iHub Research, the Dangerous Speech Project at the World Policy Institute and Ushahidi- a collection of inflammatory speech posted online by Kenyans, is being documented in what is seen as the first project of its kind worldwide. Umati was birthed out of the influence social media is seen to have had on the 2007/8 post election violence, and runs between September 2012 and May 2013.
The Umati project seeks to identify and understand the use of dangerous speech in the Kenyan online space, in order to find and use non-government ways to reduce its effects of violence on the ground. To this end, we have created NipeUkweli - an outreach ef- fort to debunk inciteful myths and reduce the possible effects of dangerous speech.
Goals of Umati:Following the need to define, identify and deal with dangerous speech, the goals of the Umati project are:
- To correctly define the type of speech that is harm- ful to the Kenyan society and thus enable all citizens to know the limits and freedoms of their speech. More- over, it is important to identify dangerous speech early in order to prevent the violence it has the potential to catalyse.
- To forward calls for help to Uchaguzi, a technology-based system that enables citizens to report and keep an eye on election-related events on the ground.
- To define a process for online hate speech tracking that can be replicated elsewhere.
- To further civic education on dangerous speech so that Kenyans are more responsible in their communica- tion and interactions with people from differing back- grounds.