The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has stated that Netflix is violating broadcast code, and must be regulated.
Until two weeks ago, the American streaming giant was only available in a few countries. As part of their expansion, they opened up in almost all countries including Kenya. Subscription starts at a little over Sh800 per month, with the first month being free.
Now the old folks at KFCB want to spoil the party. As if Kenya has not received enough bad publicity internationally from the arrests of bloggers and social media users, now KFCB want to take it a notch higher by regulating Netflix content. I think when they said Kenya is looking East, they really meant that. (Remember the Great firewall of China that has banned Google including Gmail, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and of course Pornhub.)
If you had forgotten the tragedy of having a 60 year old bishop at the helm of your secular entertainment regulator, Bishop Jackson Kosgei reminded us yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the board’s chairman Bishop Kosgei said that since Netflix is operating in Kenya, it has to ensure the material it distributes conforms to established regulations to avoid exposing children and the youth to content that has extreme violence and pornography.
Bishop Kosgei expressed concern that some of the film content available on Netflix contains elements of nudity in contravention of the laws governing film and broadcast content in Kenya.
He added that most of the regulatory considerations that have been used to rate Netflix’s content do not conform to the ones used in Kenya, and should therefore be classified on the country’s regulations to avoid ruining the country’s moral values and risking national security.
Yeah, you can read that again.. National security.
“Some of the movies sampled from the network have ratings of suitability for 13-year children, yet they contain classifiable elements such as extreme violence, nudity, promotion of irresponsible sexual behavior, inappropriate language and drug abuse,’ he said
“As a progressive country, we cannot afford to be passive recipient of foreign content that could corrupt the moral values of our children and compromise our national security. If such content is allowed without scrutiny by our regulatory standards, the country is bound to open a floodgate for extremist and radicalizing content, particularly within View-on-Demand and Pay platforms.”
Of course he has to throw in ‘National security’ to emphasize the importance of his views. But I’m not sure which Netflix show compromises national security. Is it The Blacklist, or Orange is the new black, or House of Cards or Narcos… wait, it has to Narcos. It teaches kids how ambush Supreme Court Buildings with tanks and huge guns and explosives. (Sorry, spoiler)
We grew up watching Chuck Norris and 24 and ended up quite fine.
The problem with a board thirsty for media attention is quite clear now. How in the world do you even start regulating the internet?
Assuming they even manage to get Netflix out of the country, will they also do the same for the thousand plus streaming site.
YouTube definitely has more unsuitable content than Netflix or any other site. Why hasn’t there ever been talk of regulating it? Pornhub is also not exactly family friendly, but KFCB has turned a blind eye.
The simple truth is this: Netflix was making some headlines, and KFCB want to remain relevant. Talk of regulating it guaranteed them some media coverage.
The issue of regulating is only possible on the device level, or in a small network. So, unless KFCB will come door to door, they better stick to their lane.
And I don’t really understand how most of those guys got a seat on the board. They look like the guys who have their kids install their Whatsapp and set up their profile pictures each and every time. They have big expensive phones but only use them to make calls. They can’t tell the difference between a website address and an email address. They think Bill Gates invented the computer. Their email password is probably ‘password’. Where do they even get the guts to speak about regulating internet content? Totally clueless lot.
Above all, Kenya is a secular nation. Having a Bishop deciding what you can watch is probably not the best idea. And unless we want to bury our heads in the sand, on morality, Netflix will not be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Teenagers looking for adult content will get it from better websites. Kids looking for violent movies will buy DVDs.
Regulation of this kind can be done at probably the family level.
And actually most people on Twitter are of a similar opinion.
Those people at KFCB think these are still the days they'd send kids to bed early so they can watch The Bold & The Beautiful.
— SupremeGREAM (@SupremeGREAM) January 20, 2016
KFCB are old folk overtaken by internet,they are like those old employees in gov ministries hawajui hata antivirus ni nini
— #KenyaTrendsSetter (@KenyaTopTrends) January 20, 2016
So kfcb has become our moral police, please don't start scaring investors away, This is not Tanzania and you are not Maghufuli
— IG: @mtjulius (@mtjuliuss) January 20, 2016
At times I think kfcb pple live in pilgrimage and are shipped to work daily and don't really know what's happening in this world.
— Faith Ealy (@KeshyMutahi) January 20, 2016
KFCB should let Netflix be.. We have been watching Netflix movies way long before they went worldwide, there is no way you'll ll stop us
— DARK PASSENGER ™ (@silvaharon) January 20, 2016
Kfcb are just jokers ???
— Kowalski. (@_k0walski) January 20, 2016
Ati KFCB has issues with series like Narcos – wasnt it in movie shops waaay b4 Netflix came to town? Mayb the shd ban the internet
— kristina-aks (@kakinyi) January 20, 2016
KFCB is trying to moderate our morality. Don't they know that Netflix is child's play compared to watching our politicians?
— SokoAnalyst (@SokoAnalyst) January 20, 2016
Kfcb are sending away investors let's Netflix do their things…
— JOHNNY GACHANJA (@JohnnyGachanja) January 20, 2016
The chairman of the KFCB is a bishop? TV is cancelled till Sunday.
— Brian K. (@Yenyewe) January 20, 2016
— Alphine (@shiroh_D) January 20, 2016
The KFCB guys thought Netflix would sell set top boxes and dishes.. So they are stalling them until they can figure out a way to get tenders
— Violette N Wambua (@NdukuWambua) January 20, 2016
KFCB using 98,946,284,669 words to tell Netflix "we want a bribe first"
— Simmer Row (@Gishuvski) January 20, 2016
KFCB Really? Ati Netflix streams inappropriate content. You will have to ban the internet altogether.
— Antony Asirigwa (@AAsirigwa) January 20, 2016
Lakini KFCB also need to have a meeting with Porn Hub. Their categories are misleading. Too many white people showing up under "Ebony"
— igiriwM@ (@Mwirigi) January 20, 2016