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Kenya Senators Propose Tax on Social Media And Tighter Regulation

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Despite the huge benefits, social media has proven to be a really strange place with all kinds of posts being allowed on various platforms. Well, this seems to have rubbed the Kenyan Senate the wrong way as they now seek to introduce tighter policies in the country.

As reported by The Star, the senators have proposed various changes to the social media space in Kenya. This includes a tax on international firms operating social media platforms in the country.

If this succeeds, it definitely won’t be the first time we’ve heard of it as platforms in Uganda have been imposed a similar tax. This means that Kenyans will have to start paying a certain amount in order to access the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram among others.

Other than tax, the Senate is also planning to amend the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act. This is with the aim of protecting and other innocent users from cyberbullies.

According to the legislators, underage users have become soft targets for bullies with obscene media being posted online on a daily basis.

“Let us as a House and country stand up and protect, especially our growing children. Even adults who are responsible must be brought to order,” Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula said.

The senators spoke of these rogue users terming them as “criminals who use social media to corrupt morals, pervert society and spread hatred.”

“This is something that will bother anyone, parent or leader who is concerned about the welfare of our society. It is a menace that if we do not take care as a society, then it can cause chaos and so much trouble,” Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot said.

This move to tighten up the laws is one associated heavily with a personal statement given by Nominated Senator Falhada Iman on the issue.

“The prevalence of online harassment among Kenyans is high with 33 per cent of social media users in Kenya having personally had a negative online experience. These include abusive behaviour, offensive name-calling, impersonation or purposeful embarrassment,” Falhada said.

“Severe forms of cyber harassment can have serious consequences on the lives of the victims. Some 21.1 per cent of Kenyans have experienced the more severe forms of online harassment,” she added.

While the tighter regulations can be justified as necessary, there is no doubt that the new tax on social media will not be received well by Kenyans. This is especially after the new Excise Duty was just executed raising the price of telecom and internet services across the country.

So, do you agree with tighter laws and new social media tax?

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