Addressing the press on Wednesday, April 26, KFCB acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christopher Wambua said some content creators had turned the applications into ‘digital brothels’ with lewd content shared from 10:00 pm in blatant breach of the laws of the land and safety of children online.
“We have noted that some apps are being transformed into digital brothels from midnight onwards,” the CEO said, adding that all these activities are happening at a time when children, who are heavy users of the internet and social media, are at home for the April holidays.
He said the board is monitoring the activities with a view to collecting evidence for transmission to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) for prosecution.
“As a society, we need to step back for a moment and reflect on the following: Are we losing the values that define us as a people? Put differently, have we lost our African philosophy of Ubuntuism –loosely defined as ‘I am because you are’? As a society, are we beginning to revel in and celebrate seeing others go down? Are we harnessing the true value of the social media in general and film in particular? Have we, as a people, normalised violence and misogyny to the point of being insensitive to these vices? Are we sufficiently dealing with issues of mental health as a society? Are we really looking out for the interest of the child as we interact with technology or are we turning the internet, which is one of the most transformative innovations of our time, into the Wild West?” the CEO posed.
Wambua stated that the freedom of expression, which is enshrined under Article 33 of Kenya’s Constitution, is not absolute, noting that it has certain limitations.
“Freedom of expression must also be interpreted within the broader context of other provisions of the Constitution, including Article 11 on culture, Article 24 on the limitation of rights and fundamental freedoms and Articles 53 and 55 which advocate the rights of the child and the youth respectively. Offenders, therefore, ought to take note of this,” he added.
Wambua said it is illegal to share intimate images or videos of other parties without their consent.
Wambua warned that the perpetrators risk harsh punishment including 2-year-imprisonment, a fine of up to Ksh200,000 or both.
“A person who commits this offense according to the law is liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding Ksh200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Kenya Shillings) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both,” he said.
He also encouraged aggrieved parties not to suffer in silence but seek legal redress.