The broken online content moderation system in Kenya

This article will show you how companies contracted by social media giants Facebook and Twitter have used their power to mute those that they deem a threat to their business.

Though Kenya has a couple of content moderation companies, I’ll focus on those I’ve seen in action.

A few days after Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi started exposing Pesa Check on Twitter over their flawed content moderation on Facebook, his account got suspended.

Blogger Nyakundi, through a series of tweets, exposed how PesaCheck content moderation style, bordered on censorship.

Another Twitter account

Another Kenyan also exposed Tuko News site for flagging his video as theirs.

Lagaless had posted the famous James Orengo video warning state protectors of dire consequences, but the video was immediately flagged down and unpublished by Facebook.

The offending content moderator was named as Tuko.co.ke.

Lagaless brought the issue on Twitter, shared screenshots, and tagged Tuko verified account complaining about the unpublishing of his content.

A few weeks later, his account was suspended.

Normally, when some content moderator reports your content for unpublishing, Facebook gives you their name.

Does the below video belong to KTN (sometime NTV) or Tuko.co.ke? (Facebook would hear none of it and continued the censorship)

Other issues

There are other issues that might have led to the suspension of these accounts, but it is clear from research in the past, that big Kenyan firms are involved.

For example, Safaricom and a few others that advertise on Twitter and Facebook have an upper hand in the removal of content that they don’t like.

They hold Google and the social media platforms at ransom since they pay a lot of money to them for advertising, so their word is law.

If they don’t like your content, you stand no chance with AdSense, trending topics. If you insist to beat the system, your account is suspended on Twitter, de-platformed on YouTube and Facebook.

‘Safaricom is a criminal enterprise,’ – What Lagaless wrote about Safaricom before Twitter suspended his account