Tom Molony will talk about his most recent paper, which explores Kenyan citizens’ right to know details about sensitive security-related information in the context of a new era of social media warfare. It considers the public communications response to Al Shabaab’s January 2016 attack on Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) personnel in El Adde, Somalia, and then to a very similar attack in Kulbiyow almost exactly a year later. Drawing on Twitter posts, an official account of Kenya’s military activities in Somalia, and on ‘offline’ methods of qualitative data collection, the paper offers explanations as to why the KDF did not provide real-time updates about the El Adde attack, but did provide information about the assault in Kulbiyow.
About the speakers
Tom Molony is Senior Lecturer in African Studies, and Director of the Centre of African Studies, at the University of Edinburgh. His geographical area of expertise is East Africa, especially Tanzania and Kenya. He is currently working on an ESRC/DFID-funded project looking at the relationship between social media and security in Kenya, Tanzania and Sierra Leone.