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Report accuses TikTok of spreading hate speech ahead of Kenya’s general election

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A US-based global non-profit organization has expressed concern over video clips containing hate-speech, political disinformation and threats of ethnic violence it says  are spreading on TikTok ahead of Kenya’s high-stakes elections.

Mozilla Foundation says  it has analysed 130 videos which sought to spread misinformation and stoke fear, accruing over four million views after being shared by dozens of accounts.

In its new report released on Wednesday, the Washington DC headquartered organization accuses the video-sharing platform of “failing its first real test in Africa”.

Kenya, which  is East Africa’s economic powerhouse will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on August 9, and there have been concerns of likelihood of violence based on past electoral history, since its previous polls which have often been marred by ethnic violence.

According to Mozilla, most of the videos contained explicit threats of ethnic violence against communities based in the Rift Valley region.

“In one instance, a video which drew more than 400,000 views, alleged that a certain presidential candidate hated a particular community and would target them if he came to power,” the non-profit says.

“Kenya’s democracy carries a tainted past of post-election violence. Now, political disinformation on TikTok — in violation of the platform’s own policies — is stirring up this highly volatile political landscape,” Odanga Madung, a fellow at the foundation is quoted by the media as saying.

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