Social Media Fueling Suicide Incidents and War Mongering

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The 21st-century school bully need not rely on just fists and a cruel tongue. The Internet is now part of the bully’s arsenal, making cyber-bullying possible anywhere and opening up the online world to first time bullies hiding behind their keyboads.

With the rise of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, cyber bullying continues to happen more and more worldwide.

Sadly this kind of 21st century bullying knows no age bracket as it attacks the old and the young alike.

In the wake of new social platforms that are continuing to be part of a normal daily life, some have opted to commit suicide as a result of this menace.

Kenya is no exception when it comes to cyber bullying and by the looks at some of the comments on each other’s social platforms we are becoming worse in propagating the vice.

With platforms like Kilimani Mums, Team mafisi on telegram and buyer beware, many Kenyans continue to be subjected to harsh treatment online.

Just recently During a political engagement with Twitter users last week, Kevin Anyango,an international development expert stepped on the nerves of a politician who dismissed him as a “lobotomised cartel surrogate”.

The post was shared 21 times on Facebook alone and the comments were as serious as its effects, bringing to the fore the questioning of cyber bullying in Kenya.

Another serious incident happened late last month when a woman identified Brenda Akinyi committed suicide by jumping in front of a car on Waiyaki Way in Nairobi. Media reports indicated Akinyi had been having relationship problems and had suffered sexual abuse by a police officer only for her to post her plight on a popular social media engagement platform where she was given all sorts of abusive comments.

The uncontrolled liberty to write messages on social media has ushered in threats of killings, suicides and hate and war mongering. Sadly it continues to get worse during this election year.

The government has tried to regulate on matters that touch on ethnic borders, online incitement and political hate speech, but who fights for that common Kenyan who is abused online for her shape, dressing or seemingly morals?

Just last week a student in Nairobi found herself having sleepless nights after her ex boyfriend posted all her nude photos on the team mafisi’s telegram account and no one stood up to speak for her.

Cyber bullying continues to take a bad turn everytime something sparks an internet conversation and it is high time the government decided where the free to air free to write policy borders for the common mwananchi.

AUTHOR: ANNETTE AMONDI

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