Plans to license WhatsApp and Facebook group admins

Kenyan social media group admins might be required to obtain licenses from the Communication Authority (CA).

Malava MP Moses Injendi has proposed a bill seeking to have administrators of WhatsApp and Facebook groups acquire licenses.

A WhatsApp group admin will be required to keep all the data of the group users and submit the data to authorities when required. The admin will also have to ensure that the members of the WhatsApp group are of ‘age of majority’.

If the bill is passed, Kenyans will have to notify the authority when they want to create a Facebook group. The group administrators will have to approve the members and content based on the law.

According to the bill, any person who fails to observe the required provisions will be liable upon conviction of a fine not exceeding Ksh. 200,000 or to an imprisonment of a term not exceeding one year. According to the bill, Kenyans will be faced with a Ksh.500, 000 fine or two years jail term for posting degrading or intimidating content online.

Content that is discriminative against gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, language and political affiliation will be flagged. Posting content that is seen as unfair, inaccurate and biased as per a court of law will also pose a risk of fine or jail term.

The bill will also affect Bloggers as it proposes that those who run blogs without a CA’s authority could spend up to two years in jail or pay a fine of Ksh.500, 000.

Critics have argued that the bill is ill-advised and is an attempt to limit freedom of expression. If the bill is approved, the proposed law will require that WhatsApp group administrators to approve members’ content using legal documents.

National Assembly Information, Communication and Innovation Committee chairperson William Kisang described the law as “unimplementable” saying that it is neither practical nor possible to register all social media administrators. He warned that the bill could be challenged in court if it is approved by the parliament.

 

Facebook Pages Can Now Join Facebook Groups

Your Facebook Page can now join Facebook Groups as members, something that was only possible for individuals until now.

Facebook has recently added a new setting in Groups for admins to allow Facebook Pages to join their Groups.

The new feature was spotted by Mari Smith and shared on Twitter by Matt Navarra:

View image on Twitter

Matt Navarra

h/t @MariSmith

Until now, only individual users could join Facebook Groups, post and comment within them. This was an issue for many public figures, publishers and charities – which often use Pages instead of personal profiles.

Until now, only individual users could join Facebook Groups, post and comment within them.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the new feature, saying: “We’ve heard from people that engaging with public figures, non-profits, publishers, and businesses in a more intimate setting can be meaningful. We previously launched the ability for Pages to start Facebook Groups so that they can engage with their communities. We are now testing the ability for Pages to join existing Facebook Groups as well.”

As pointed out, the new setting is being tested, and may not yet be available to all Groups.

Facebook Groups can now allow Facebook Pages to join their groups and engage with its members.

Many Facebook Pages stand to benefit from this new feature, giving them access to new communities they were kept away from until now. It should immediately have a positive impact on engagement levels within Groups as well, as Pages will now be able to like and comment on on-going conversations with its members.

Have you seen the new setting in your Groups?

Facebook has been reducing the number of people who can view your content on pages, enticing you to pay for adverts to increase your reach. It has also been showing more interest in groups and encouraging people to get into groups they can relate to. They basically want us all to join groups. Facebook pages in Kenya are so many, Facebook groups are less but growing.

Its a high time you develop a group around what you sell on Facebook, and form a community to easily connect to people, share ideas and grow your business.

If facing a challenge in creating or growing a Facebook group in Africa or any part of the world, we’re happy to help.