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Kenyans, Nigerians face-off on Twitter

By , ITWeb
Africa , 12 Sep 2016

Kenyans, Nigerians face-off on Twitter

A Twitter hashtag that reportedly sprang up following the first visit of Facebook's founder to Africa could have implications for the control of social media in regions across Africa.

Mark Zuckerburg recently visited Kenya and Nigeria, Facebook's top markets in Africa, and during his visit the #KenyavsNigeria hashtag sprang up - supposedly to report on the coverage of the visit on both ends from individual users' perspective.

Now, with #KenyavsNigeria, which is understood to have started around 3 September, citizens of both countries are using this social media extension of the Facebook exec's historical visit in clearly different ways.

Tweets such as A Nigerian street boy in Nairobi collected a coin in a bin and history was made...Naira was discovered #KenyaVsNigeria and What Nigerians are doing to Kenyans has deviated from our cultural part. We're taught to always respect the less-privileged #KenyaVsNigeria, reveals the extent of the exchange.

This exchange is coming at a time when there are rife debates over the regulation of social media in various African countries.

Over the past year, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Angola, Madagascar and Zimbabwe have passed or proposed laws to fight threats that could be connected to social media use.

Particular reference would be made to Nigeria where journalists and bloggers claim that their politicians are using the 2015 Cyber Crime (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act to curtail freedom of expression, and in Kenya where there has been reluctance to accept legislation to curb cyber crime and regulate social media which is expected to be implemented before the August 2017 general elections.

This is not the first time such a Twitter exchange would be recorded on the part of Nigerians and Kenyans. In 2013, following what was described as an unfair treatment to the Kenyan national football by the Nigerian sports officials when they visited for a qualifier match, #SomeoneTellKenya and #SomeoneTellNigeria hashtags came up for users from both ends venting their grievances.

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