5 August 2022, London/Nairobi - A week after the launch of our report exposing Facebook approved online ads containing hate speech and calling for ethnic violence in Kenya, Facebook has not publicly communicated any changes it will be making to safeguard the election.

The report, published jointly by Global Witness and Foxglove, was presented to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), a government agency based in Nairobi and gave Facebook 7 days to comply with Kenyan regulations or face suspension in the country.  

Ava Lee, Digital Threats to Democracy Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:

“With only days to go until the Kenyan election, Facebook’s failure to confirm any new resources or measures to protect people and democracy in the country is shocking. It is high time one of the world’s wealthiest companies put the safety of people ahead of profit.

“Our research shows a major failure in Facebook’s ability to moderate hate, which should be acted on urgently. This must include an immediate ban on all ads until the election result is accepted and the rolling out of additional safeguards - including the “Break The Glass” measures used following the US Capitol 2021 insurrection.

“With more high risk elections on the horizon, Facebook needs to be held to account for its lack of preparedness in Kenya. If trust is to be restored in the platform, the public deserves full transparency of what Facebook has done to keep people safe.”