Enabling Online Safe Spaces: A Case Study of Love Matters Kenya

Maaike van Heijningen, Lindsay van Clief
Volume 48 Issue 1
Published: 13 February 2017
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19088/1968-2017.103

For sexual health organisations, establishing a safe space to talk about sensitive topics is an important prerequisite for information exchange and open dialogue. With the popularity of social media and mobile phones, these safe spaces are moving online. This article examines one of these spaces, the Love Matters Kenya Facebook page, as an example of a sexual health organisation using social media to discuss sexuality with young people. We observed interactions on the Facebook page over a period of six weeks, and also led an online focus group discussion. The results showed that the key elements of a safe space are: good moderation; users’ ability to create their own online personas; and a community atmosphere that enables trust and social relationships to grow.



From Issue: Vol 48, No 1 (2017) | Sex Education in the Digital Era