Monday, January 30, 2012

Caroline Mutoko and the Two Sides of her Story \ Cosign @kachwanya \

Reblog from 

Wow, Caroline Mutoko hit a raw nerve with some Social Media gurus on her piece which is still not yet online by the time of writing this. So I have to give you a link of a scanned version here. Caroline made some valid points  but sometime good stories get lost in the language used. 

The central  point of  the piece is the hate speech and how it is being spread on Social Media. After reading it twice, I realized that there could be two possible conclusions made out of that story. And that is the reason why the reactions about it was in twos..those for Caroline, basically agreeing with her and others against her points, especially the language used. Somebody who saw it the same way, following the reactions of people on twitter is @Mwirigi. 

On twitter:

Mwirigi Bobby : Are there two versions of Mutoko’s post? Coz yenyewe…

If for a second  people put their emotions aside, then you would realize that Kenya is at a crossroad, full of angry people. And Politics in particular bring out the worst in some Kenyans. I still don’t get it with tribalism. It is  like a cancer eating Kenyans alive. As Mutoko noted, venom coming from some Kenyans online  is unbelievable. Worse still, all that come because of some people who do not give a damn whether you have food on your table or not

The more I look at it the more I see that Moi was right when he used to tell people that having a Minister from your community will not add any sufuria of ugali on your table. Well, Moi was/is a hated figure, so that might not make sense to some people; but for real, I think he had a point. In my adult life, I have never seen anything useful to talk about in Kenya from Kenyan politicians. It is the same reason why I don’t understand when people go ballistic because of a politician.  If only Kenyans would be passionate about Nation Building the way they are when it comes to politicians from their communities, then we would not be talking about vision 2030 but vision 2000.

I agree with Caroline on the hate speech, although I don’t think it is only an online problem. Kenyans online are just a perfect  sample of their offline versions, the only difference being that online you can trace their thoughts. The offline versions discuss the same in their mother tongues. Believe me the offline versions are the worst.

Caroline is disappointed at the venom coming from Facebook but when I look at her language, I don’t see the difference. Calling people numbskulls and idiots can as well pass as hate speech on its own. Caroline should realize that her article instantly became online vs offline, and one can argue that she was inciting the Offline against the Online. 

Then the wrong facts on the article. To start with people on Facebook are not Anonymous, to join Facebook one has to use his /her email address or phone number with real names. If you are looking for real people with real identity go to Facebook  or Linkedin. Caroline was probably talking about the world of Blogosphere or twitter, where some people use aliases  or fake names. But am not sure, probably Caroline think that Facebook is another name for Internet or Social Media.  So let's just say that what people said on the Facbook Media pages can be traced directly to the people who said them.

Talking of the Media houses, I got bored with the way they framed the narratives on the run up to the ICC ruling. At one point you would have thought the violence was going to breakup immediately the ICC announced their  ruling. What was the reason for posting the reporters in Eldoret, in Gatundu, in Nandi, mmmh nobody was posted around North Eastern...(or where does Ali come from?).  

At this point I might not be that wrong in believing that some Kenyans took cue from the Media Houses, Caroline Mutoko being a big shot in one of them.  Caroline should start by advising the Media Houses to stop treating the ICC suspects as the heroes, and start concentrating on the victims of the PEV.  How many front page articles focusing on IDPs have you seen on the Nation, Standard or The Star? Compare that with numerous articles about ICC suspects and other Politicians...even from the Media House from which Caroline Mutoko is one of the  decision makers?

For a minute let us all  be sober and agree to disagree. Online is a perfect space for discussion, and presenting diverging views. It should never be me my way or highway. Calling people stupid or idiots, or any other misplaced adjective does not help anyone. But at the same time the words coming from some people’s mouths directed to other communities should be checked. 

One nation, one country, one people. And that does not mean we protect the thugs from our communities…..think about it!!!

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