Kenya's political parties have been banned from sending mass text messages to voters without getting approval from state regulators first, BBC News reported. The move is intended to prevent hate messages during next year's elections. It comes after the disputed elections in 2007 in Kenya, which lead to ethnic violence that left more than 1,000 people dead.
The Communications Commission of Kenya director Francis Wangusi said that mobile service providers will have to forward any "doubtful" messages to government officials, KBC News reported.
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Subscribers who individually send text messages deemed as inflammatory, divisive or hate speech will be charged with incitement to violence. “In light of what happened in the 2007 General Election, it has now become necessary to regulate the transmission of bulk political content over mobile networks in order to insulate the county from political chaos," Wangusi told Business Daily.
Politicians who want to send out mass texts will be able to have their messages vetted by a state regulator first, in a process that may take up to 48 hours, the Daily Nation reported.