Using Digital and Social Media to Monitor and Reduce Violence in Kenya’s Elections

Dowd, C.
IDS Policy Briefing 144
Publisher IDS
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Social media and digital technology offer immense potential for citizens, policymakers and practitioners to raise awareness of, monitor, and respond to violence. With Kenya’s elections approaching, technology can help to raise awareness of insecurity, support early warning, combat incitement of violence and promote accountability.

However, digital technology also carries a number of risks. To maximise effectiveness and inclusivity, 1) greater support must be given to locally legitimate peace messaging and counter-speech; 2) government, media and civil society should collaborate to improve transparency and accountability in the regulation of online activity; and 3) social media monitoring of violence should be undertaken in conjunction with other reporting systems that seek to overcome inequalities in digital access and use.