It has come to light that Kenya Film & Classification Board (KFCB), through CEO Ezekiel Mutua, is considering passing a law that looks to ban the use of pseudonyms, or fake names as they call them, on social media.
"No prior restraint, but when users commit a crime using a social media account, we should be able to identify them." said Mutua in a tweet explaining sime of the motivation behind the proposed law.
Mutua has confirmed that the proposed bill to compel Kenyans to register social media accounts with their real names, i.e. official names, will be tabled in Kenya's parliament by latest the end of June 2017.
Part of the motivation to try and fast track the passing of the bill , according to Mutua, is so that it can become law before Kenya's Presidential elections on 8 August 2017 and to scare off those who might want to use pseudonyms to spread fake news ahead of the elections.
Many disagree with this proposal, most natbly being activist Boniface Mwangi. Mwangi, who will be a candidate in the upcoming elections said that "This man Ezekiel Mutua is the enemy of freedom of expression. His true mission is to protect thieves and censor truth. Be very afraid." in reacting to news of the proposal on Twitter.
Mutua didn't hesitated as he took a swipe back at Mwangi by saying that "This law has better chances of being passed than Boniface Mwangi has to become an MCA."
Whether the motive behind pushing for this law is justified or not is a topic for another day, more interesting is to try and understand how KFCB and othe Kenyan lawmakers will implement this if it becomes law given how they would have to first prove that someone is indeed Kenyan on social media.
Cover Image: Ezekiel Mutua speaking at iAfrikan's Annual Tech Round-Up 2017.