Kenyans online were in shock this morning to learn that one of the biggest Facebook groups “Group Kenya” had been taken down. The group boasted more than 2.1 million members and was among the biggest online forums in Africa.
Members have been posting a wide range of topics in the group including relationships, politics, job searches and trending issues.
It is not clear what prompted the group to be brought down, although it is reported that several of its users reported the page for “Objectionable Content”, which contravenes the social media platform’s community standards.
According to Facebook’s terms and conditions, objectionable content includes: hate speech, violent and graphic content, adult nudity and sexual activity, sexual solicitation, and insensitive content
The social networking site says it holds the rights of pulling down a page’s post(s) that flouts any of its Community Standards.
“People can report potentially violating content, including Pages, Groups, Profiles, individual content, and comments,” says Facebook.
The founder of the group, known as Timoth Sem, hails from Migori, and is trying to appeal to Facebook to have the group reinstated. A couple of groups under the same name “Group Kenya’ have already sprung up since today morning.
Through one of the ‘back-up groups’ the admins issued a statement saying “It is with heavy hearts that we confirm this information (that Group Kenya Facebook page has been suspended). The group was last night disabled by Facebook under claims of violating Facebook Community Guidelines on nudity.”
“We, however, do not agree with that assessment and have since appealed to have the group re-enabled.
“As we have for the past seven years, The Group Kenya Team remains committed to providing you avenues for discourse, discussions and difficult, sometimes even controversial conversations. We remain committed to upholding your freedoms to express yourself.
“It may not be easy to rebuild the community we have nurtured over the past seven years, all over again, but we dare try. We thank you all for being a part of our community.
The group has been suspended a couple of times and was also shut down in 2017.
Meanwhile, some of the biggest Facebook Groups in Kenya include ‘Let’s Cook Kenyan Meals’ with over 2 million members, ‘Kenya Political Forum’ with 1 Million members and ‘Kilimani Mums and Dads Uncensored (Original) with 936k members.