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Senator Cherargei takes on X over platform snub

Monday, May 13th, 2024 04:45 | By
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei. PHOTO/Print
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei. PHOTO/Print

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei has threatened legal action against social media platform, X, formerly Twitter, for allegedly denying him access to his account.

In his petition to the Senate to investigate the management of the international firm over what he termed as ‘infringement’ and ‘malicious actions’, the lawmaker charged that the X-Corporation has denied him access to his verified account since November 2023.

“I believe X Corporation’s, formerly Twitter, actions warrant an investigation by the Kenyan Government and this Parliament and require diplomatic engagement with the American government,” said Cherargei in a statement on the floor.

According to Cherargei, his efforts to reach the firm to recover his account have been futile with the firm remaining unresponsive, adding that he had 329,700 followers at the time he was blocked.

“I have an important channel of engagement between myself and the public. These malicious actions violate my freedom of speech and set a dangerous precedent. Despite repeated emails and a formal demand letter, the X-corporation has remained unresponsive. This silence equates to the muzzling of an important channel,” said the Nandi lawmaker.

Formal communication

In his statement, Cherargei also demanded Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo should initiate formal communication with the US-based social media firm, ‘outlining the violation of Kenyan law and expressing strong condemnation of the action and discriminatory implications.’

In addition, Cherargei asked the Cabinet Secretary to further explore diplomatic channels with the American Government and emphasize the need for multinational tech companies to operate ‘ethically and responsibly.

“We cannot allow multinational corporations to operate with impunity. If a sitting Senator can experience this, it raises questions about how Kenyan citizens and African citizens would be treated in similar circumstances,” charged the Senator.

Further, the lawmaker wants Owalo to provide a detailed report on the existing mechanisms of the Government’s action and recourse for Kenyans facing similar prejudice.

Written to X Corp

People Daily has also established that Cherargei has already written to X Corporation threatening legal action through lawyer Ian Mbotela.

In his demand letter Cherargei, told X firm to immediately, restore his access rights.

“The undersigned herein is under strict instructions to use our partners to file a civil claim in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and seek for an award of damages,” the letter reads in part.

In his letter, dated February 8, 2024, and addressed to X Corp Chief Executive Officer Linda Yaccaniro and Head of Legal Julian Moore, Cherargei said he has been compliant with “Xcorp’s” internal complaints mechanism, terms of service and the privacy policy.

“Through a Coordinated social engineering attack, on or about 19th November 2023, circa 11 am, my client was forcefully logged out from your platform “X” rendering the “@scherargei” impervious to him,” the letter states.

 “That notwithstanding, XCorp has continued to be negligent and discriminate against my client,” Mbotela said in the letter.

According to Mbotela, his client is a verified user and is subscribed to the Twitter Blue Service and denying him access means that the XCorp has been deducting fees for services not rendered.

“My client is a verified user and more so is subscribed to the Twitter Blue Service. This means that my client has met Xcorp’s requirements to be rendered a verified user. XCorp has been deducting fees for services not rendered.”

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