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Bloggers, youth warned against using social media for hate speech during polls

Members of eminent persons in Uashu Gishu County, including religious leaders, have challenged bloggers and young people not be misused into using using social media platforms to spread hate ahead of next week’s General Election.

The eminent persons, who comprise religious leaders, business community, elders and academic scholars in the region, now want social media influencers to share messages of peace and unity.

Rev Daniel Barno, Uasin Gishu County National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) and a member of the panel said they decided to reach out to bloggers and social media influencers to help preach peace during the electioneering period.

“We know that with technology, bloggers use platforms to reach more young people. We are telling them not to be used to spread hatred or cause animosity during this election period,” Rev Barno said during a peace forum in Eldoret town.

Willy Kenei, the chairperson of the Eminent Persons panel, asked bloggers to spearhead peace during the pre- elections, during elections and post-elections.

Bloggers in Uasin Gishu County, led by Mercy Jeruto and Emannuel Lemiso, made a commitment to use their platforms to share peace messages and factual information before, during and after the General Election.

“I want to call on my fellow bloggers and youth not to be used by politicians to spread propaganda or hate. From now on, we are committed to sharing peace messages devoid of propaganda because we love our country,” said Ms Jeruto.

The forum was organised by the International Republican Institute to promote peaceful elections. Similar forums are being organised in other five counties that are considered as hotspots.