Google Refuses to Shutdown Kenyan “Same Love” Video


Kenya Film Classification Board chief executive Ezekiel Mutua when the regulator banned the pro-gay music video Same Love. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

American tech giant, Google, has missed a one-week ultimatum to take down a pro-gay music video flagged as inappropriate.

Kenya Films Classification Board (KFCB) chief executive Ezekiel Mutua Tuesday said the board expected Google to bring down any flagged content within a week of reporting, but that the company remained non-committal on whether it would honour its request.

“I am reverting on this because the deadline ends today (Wednesday) and the least we expected from Google was a reply whether in the affirmative or not. It is important that Google makes a step on this,” said Mr Mutua in an interview day.

The regulator said the assumption was that Google was still holding internal consultations because “it could not be the only case they are handling”. Mr Mutua said the move to censure the video was in line with the board’s mandate based on the classifications guidelines.

The KFCB banned the music video titled “Same Love” by Art Attack (Kenyan artistes) claiming it was promoting homosexuality, which is illegal in Kenya.

The video is still online, having attracted over 130,000 views on YouTube, a Google-owned platform.

The video which was uploaded on YouTube on February 15 contains sexual scenes between people of the same gender.

In an earlier interview, a Google spokesperson in the US told the Business Daily that YouTube has clear policies which outline what content is acceptable to post, adding that the company removes videos violating the policies when flagged by users.

“We review government removal requests when notified through the correct legal processes and in keeping with our company philosophy on transparency and freedom of expression, we disclose these requests in our transparency report,” said the Google spokesperson in an email.

Google Kenya communications manager, Dorothy Ooko, could not discuss the progress made by the company in regards to the KFCB’s request, only replying that Google did “not have anything to say right now”.

“Once a decision is made we shall communicate,” said Ms Ooko.

In an email reply, the composers of the controversial song, Art Attack, said their intention was to create awareness around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) struggles in Kenya.

They said it is “interesting that the old guys at the KFCB were actually very instrumental in helping us get our message across”.

Art Attack said they do not consider themselves criminals as intimated by the films board.

“Our intention was to provoke a conversation and open people to the realities of gay couples and we are glad that it actually worked and is still working as we speak,” said Art Attack, challenging the board to prove that the video was shot in Kenya.

Mr Mutua in his response said that as much as they do not have prosecutorial powers they will continue to do their job and ensure that any stage or film production conforms to the law “and moral values” of the country.


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  • comment-avatar
    Bob 6 years

    November 3, 2012 at 8:52am
    To my beautiful Gay Brothers and Sisters: Immoral Bigots like James Dobson and Focus on the Family will never agree with you because this inaccurate and false information they spew is their bread and butter. If they did not have a populace to discriminate against, then their REVENUE would greatly shrink. The foundation to healthy living is to protect yourself against their shameful and untrue Evangelical beliefs, for they are dangerous and immoral. Always feel good about yourself my gay brothers and sisters, for I have the experience of internal hate and oppression like many that lasted for many years. I have survived the emotional turmoil that has shaped my entire life, many of our gay brothers and sisters sadly, have not. We must continue the education that being gay is not a learned behavior but a cherished gift from the source of life. Please remember, these religious sinners who are in charge of different faith-based organizations know NOTHING about God, only money and power and they will say, preach or do anything to have it.

  • comment-avatar
    Bob 6 years

    October 10, 2012 at 9:05am
    I would like to tell every single gay person and everyone in the United States and in the world, be STRONG! There is nothing wrong with you, it is them— The small minority of mis-informed people who are listening to powerful political bigots who want to keep their cash flow going by hate. They do this by mis-interpreting the True God of Love. These people are Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council and others. Please educate everyone you know always about these religious radicals. The True God is about love, compassion and helping others, not a hateful God that they should not be preaching to and about!

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