About the researcher

Faith Kirigha is a second year PhD student at Falmouth University. Her research on Digital Authoritarianism aims to investigate the impact and implications of the regulation of digital media content on freedom of speech in Kenya. Before starting her PhD journey, Faith worked as a communications specialist for the USAID Kenya & East Africa and taught Digital Media at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC).

Recently, she was part of a research project initiated by Guild HE and the Young Foundation Institute for Community Studies. Her role was to provide an evidence base for Guild HE's anti-racism work aimed at influencing sector-wide interventions, leading to enhanced outcomes for Postgraduate Research (PGR) students from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Faith enjoys doing research, travelling and meeting new people. After completing her PhD, she hopes to remain in academia.

Faith Kirigha Image 2
Faith Kirigha Image 2

PhD Abstract

Thesis title

Digital Authoritarianism: A critical examination of the regulation of social media content and its impact on freedom of speech in Kenya


My research project aims to investigate the impact and implications of Kenya's Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act (CMCA, 2018) on the production of content by political bloggers, independent activists, human rights and media organisations, and higher education institutions (HEIs) within a Kenyan context.

The study will draw on a mixed-methods research approach, including: a literature review of the various policy documents; a meta-analysis of scholarly literature relating to 'digital authoritarianism' and 'net-neutrality' (with an emphasis on an African context); a series of in-depth interviews with the relevant stakeholders; and case-study analyses of the work produced by of activists and political bloggers.

A critical evaluation of the findings will include a cross-national comparison between Kenya, France, United Kingdom and Canada and devise a set of recommendations for Kenyan policy makers to consider in relation to the findings.

Qualifications, outputs & expertise


  • Master's in International Journalism at the University of Leeds
  • Bachelor's in Communications at the United States International University

Research outputs

Honours and awards

 Research interests

  • Digital media
  • Social media
  • Media regulation
  • Digital authoritarianism
  • Censorship
  • Surveillance
  • Freedom of speech
  • Journalism studies
  • Client journalism

Areas of expertise

  • Digital media
  • Social media
  • Journalism studies
  • Media and Communication studies and research