Friday, August 19, 2022

Kenya

What you post online acquires eternal life

Kenyans who registered as voters and are interested in voting in this year’s election will head to the polling stations in less than 48 hours.

In the lead-up to election day, social media pages are abuzz with activity.

Many people have become bloggers, others are self-styled political pundits, and the rest consume a cocktail of factual and fabricated campaign content.

As we wait for the results on our screens shortly after the voting, many people will post information they may regret.

In the heat of the moment, some people will post distasteful content they didn’t intend to.

Going by the current online activity, some messages will be laced with lies and hate.

Others will rub salt on emotional injuries of people nursing effects of defeat.

It is important to remember one of the internet’s cardinal rules before you post anything online.

It says, “Anything you post online acquires eternal life.” It is difficult to remove or redact content even if you delete it later since online content replicates rapidly.

Be careful not to post anything that could embarrass you. Don’t use a profile that you use for your professional work to post things that may make your peers and business associates doubt your professional standing.

Moreover, some content can be offensive, and its authors and publishers may find themselves in legal trouble.

While most peace-loving people hope for a peaceful election and graceful celebrations by the winning camp, no one can predict what will happen.

Many voters are apprehensive every election season because of the chaos and violence in previous polls.

Slow down internet 

If necessary, the government can disable or severely slow down the internet or certain social media platforms to maintain peace and order. 

It is hoped that this will not happen. However, it is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard.

Don’t rely too much on one chat platform, such as WhatsApp.

If, for some reason, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger become intermittent or unresponsive, make sure you have another platform, such as Telegram or Signal to turn to.

Notify your family and friends about these other platforms so that you can connect there if other platforms are neutered.

Having some airtime and data bundles for a rainy day is a good idea just in case M-Pesa or your neighbourhood shop is closed.

Keep your phone charged and if you have a power backup, keep it fully charged. Our erratic electricity may suffer a prolonged power outage, leaving us with an election news deficit.

If such an event occurs, you can turn to your phone for news. But, if your phone is out of charge, you may be stuck on an isolated island.

Above all, be a vector for spreading peace. There will be another election in five years if this one doesn’t go your way.

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