Media / Watchdog
Monday, 04 Jul 2016 18:58 EATswaithera@kenyafreepress.com
Kenyans joined the world in celebrating this year’s Social Media Day with a call by the authorities on users of the various networks to exercise online freedom with responsibility. The celebrations which targeted several counties through workshops on responsible use of social media coincided with the launch of the 4th Edition of the OLX Social Media Awards (SoMA 2016) at the ICT incubation Centre, Nailab, Nairobi on Friday July 1.
ICT Authority Acting CEO Robert Mugo, OLX Kenya Country Manager Mr Peter Ndiang’ui and Social Media Awards (SoMA) Director Martin Muli concurred that social platforms have been recently used to spread hate speech, a vice they decried is detrimental to the cohesion of the country adding that recent tribal vitriol is a recipe for ethnic divisions and chaos especially in the run up to next year's general elections.
The three speakers united in calling on social media enthusiasts to make good use of social media to transform the society through generation of content that is beneficial to their followers. The theme for this year's Social Media Day was Freedom with Responsibility.
Mugo said this year’s celebrations targeted the counties through workshops aimed at empowering the public with skills to harness social media for social and economic development. This year, the scope of the Awards whose theme is 'Transforming Lives,' was widened to include new categories such as Agribusiness. Kenyans can participate in the Awards by nominating individuals and organizations that have made good use of social media to impact society positively through the website: www.soma.or.ke.
Commenting on the Awards, Ndiang’ui said: "Social media can be used to transform lives through generation of content that helps people maximize online opportunities for growth in sectors with huge potential like agribusiness."
Muli said the Awards offer social media enthusiasts a platform to celebrate responsible use of social media to transform lives through generation of useful content. “Every year we strive to make SoMA more useful and relevant to the online community by identifying gaps and realigning the categories in line with the latest trends in the local social media landscape."
The SOMA is an annual event, now in its Fourth year, that seeks to celebrate the growth by and through social media in Kenya.
Waithera is a staff writer at the Kenya Free Press.