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Safaricom pre-empts election hate speech

In a bid to prevent violence in the run-up to the 2013 elections, Safaricom has announced that it will control political messaging distributed via its networks to avoid unnecessary attacks on individuals, their families, tribes or associations.  

"We are taking an early stand to ensure that our mobile network, which is relied upon by over 19 million Kenyans, is not used as a platform to spread hatred and/or incite the populace to violence through the dissemination of hate-speech via mobile based messaging," said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

The guidelines will apply to Content Service Providers distributing political messages through Safaricom’s messaging services, including Short Message Service (SMS).

In the statement, Safaricom said it would suspend or terminate contracts of service providers who failed to comply with the rules.

Last week, Safaricom terminated a contract with Datalex over allegations of fraudulent fundraising using a Safaricom short code.

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