Samuel Mung'ale Wafula Peterson Mwai Kariuki Cyprian Ondieki Omari


In Kenya, social media platforms are the primary medium for cyberhate, and it predominantly affects university students who have extensive social media usage. Although cyberhate is considered as a criminal offence in Kenya, victims, particularly young people, often do not report victimisation to the police. Despite the well-documented harmful effects of cyberhate, the cause behind its underreporting remains unclear. Studies have established the influential role of attitudes, particularly views of police effectiveness, in shaping the choice to report crimes. However, insufficient focus has been given to examining this relationship, specifically within the context of cyberhate reporting. Moreover, potential variations in perceptions of police effectiveness across different policing contexts also introduce nuances to the relationship. Guided by the Instrumental Performance-Based Model of policing, the study explored the connection between social media users' views of police effectiveness and their intention to report incidents of cyberhate victimisation to the police. A descriptive survey design utilizing a quantitative approach was adopted, targeting undergraduate students at a public university in Kenya. From this population, a sampling frame consisting of 5,121 undergraduates was created by focusing on three faculties, and stratified sampling ensured proportional selection from all strata. The data collection instrument was a questionnaire administered to a randomly selected subset of 378 respondents, of whom 261 returned completed questionnaires. Spearman's correlation results revealed a positive and significant correlation between perceived police effectiveness and cyberhate reporting intentions. The study explored the implications of this finding for the National Police Service and suggested directions for future research.


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