The Push To Censor Netflix In Kenya

As technology replaces a lot of the manual work that once dominated our work and home life, another side of this trend has started to emerge: the need to control and monitor this new lifestyle.

This truth is more evident in Kenya than anywhere else where we have seen the gagging of the press and online journalism. What probably stands out more clearly on this issue is the move by the Kenya Film Classification Board to censor the online streaming service, Netflix.

However, this move was met with a lot of criticism by Kenyans online who expressed their sentiments on social media and blogging platforms.

"For many, this move was seen as a lack of understanding as to what streaming services are and a lack of appreciation for online media."

KFCB is looking to meet up with Netflix representatives in order to examine its rating standards as to what constitutes mature content. Netflix, on the other hand, does not offer rating standards for certain countries, especially in Africa, which means their rating system may sometimes come into conflict with Kenya's rating standards.

Despite all of this, one thing is clear. Streaming services like Netflix are only going to grow as Internet adoption grows across the world .

One person who seems to understand this technology trend is the Cabinet Secretary for ICT in Kenya, Joe Mucheru. Formerly of Google, the CS is well acquainted with the world of technology and the inability and frustrations that come with any attempts to censor online media.

Here is an excerpt from an interview where he discusses Netflix in Kenya:

The need for online video, including streaming services, has seen a sharp increase in the last year with predictions showing that this trend is likely to continue throughout the decade.

We can only hope that bodies like the KFCB get informed on the current state of the Internet, and like Joe Mucheru, embrace, rather than, censor, online video content.