In Kenya, a county where approximately only *9.7% of the population have access to the internet; political groups are using social media as a platform to verbally attack each other after the outcome of the March 2013 presidential elections. Collins Nabiswa, a Social Media Editor at Nation Media Group in Kenya said in an interview, “They’re just taking the violence off the street and on to social media… social media users are attacking each other but it’s not happening physically.” Nabiswa went on to express concern that the “hate speeches” could eventually turn into physical violence. Nabiswa has good reasons for his concerns. Following the 2007 presidential elections, violence broke out and 1,300 people were killed.
Wow! On one hand, I feel like their use of the pen to express their dissatisfaction is much better than using a sword. On the other hand, these “hate speeches” are threatening messages, which can simply be the calm before another, possibly greater, storm of violence. This would be an excellent opportunity for the leaders of both groups to use social media to calm their supporters and channel their energy into more positive and productive means of expressing their support. This makes me think: As I work on my social media campaign for this course, others are using the same tools, but for much different purposes. What are your thoughts?