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Female content creators face abuse online

As anti-tax protests continue to sweep across Kenya, a new report reveals that 58 percent of female content creators are experiencing online harassment.

The report, titled: “Dada Disinfo; A Report on Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence in Kenya,” also shows that 44 percent of women content creators are facing cyberstalking, 42 per cent contending with hate speech, and 28 percent affected by impersonation.

This highlights the dual struggle women face both in the physical and digital worlds during this period of social unrest.

The comprehensive study, funded by USAID and administered by global development firm DAI, was conducted by digital research and marketing firm Nendo. Other abusive behaviours highlighted in the report include cyberbullying, doxing (the act of revealing personal information about someone online without their consent), and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.

Known individuals

Shockingly, 72 per cent of these attacks come from unknown online strangers, though threats from known individuals such as ex-partners and colleagues also pose significant dangers.

The emotional toll is severe, leading to reduced public engagement, lost professional opportunities, and serious mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Among social media platforms, Instagram and TikTok are perceived as safer spaces, while Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are seen as hotbeds for Technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV).

“USAID is committed to promoting gender equality, and we are proud to support this critical research,” stated Jeffrey Szuchman, Acting Director of the Office of Democratic Governance, Peace, and Security. Nendo founder and CEO Mark Kaigwa emphasised the urgency of the issue stating: “Online gender-based violence is a pressing problem that demands immediate attention. Our report highlights the urgent need for platforms, policymakers, and society at large to act now.”