Posts tagged Kenya
Study: East African Converts to Islam are Recruitment Targets by Extremist Groups

Religion News Service

Christians who convert to Islam in East African countries often become targets for recruitment by extremist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Shabab, the al-Qaida affiliate in East Africa. Such is one finding in a June report from PeaceTech Lab, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that works to reduce violent conflict using technology.

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Kenya's Election: Can Technology Stop Hate Speech?

Peace News Network

Kenya's past elections have been marred by violence, and with citizens heading to the polls on August 8, observers are concerned about the impact of hate speech. SMS text messages, in particular, have been blamed for partially fueling violence that led to 1,400 deaths following the 2007 election.

However, during this year's election, SMS messages are being used to try to diffuse tension, and social media is being used to monitor hate speech.

What is hate speech?

"The definition we use for hate speech is really the general definition, which is speech that attacks a person or group, on the basis of their race, their gender, their ethnic origin, their religion, or sexual orientation," said Giselle Lopez, from PeaceTech Lab, who has been researching the impact of hate speech and conflict in the region – including neighboring South Sudan.

"In the case of most of the work that we do there's another category of speech, called dangerous speech, which is speech that is very likely to lead to violence," Ms Lopez said.

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Keeping the Peace Via Text

US News & World Report

In Kenya, where elections can lead to violence, advocates pin their hopes on technology. 

Two dozen women have arranged themselves in a circle under the shade of a cashew tree, some with infants in their arms and toddlers at their feet. The afternoon meeting in this small farming community near Mpeketoni is not out of the ordinary. What's new is the handful of young people from the city who have come to tell the villagers about a text messaging-based phone app designed to prevent massacres.

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