Screenshot of the main page on August 17, 2018
|Type of business||Private company|
Type of site
|Available in||Swahili, English|
|Founded||2006 as JamboForums|
|Owner||Jamii Media Co. Ltd|
|Key people||Maxence Melo (CEO and co-founder). Mike Mushi (co-founder)|
|Alexa rank||6,249 (February 2019[update])|
JamiiForums is a Tanzania-based social networking website in East Africa founded by Maxence Melo and Mike Mushi in 2006. The online network is notable as the most popular social media website in Tanzania, according to AllAfrica. The website emphasizes its use of user-generated content to avoid penalties faced by traditional media for reporting issues in Tanzania. According to Washington Post, recent Tanzanian bills have caused significant worry over potential media crackdown in Tanzania.
JamiiForums was officially launched in March 2006 with the name JamboForums, and comprised several online subforums. In May 2008 they changed their name to JamiiForums due to copyright issues. In March 2016, Jamii Media filed a lawsuit against the federal Tanzanian police force, alleging that the police force's power to demand personal information of individuals suspected of crimes was unconstitutional. The case will be processed through the High Court of Tanzania.
According to The Daily Beast and The Guardian, the website became a whistle blowing platform with its focus on current events and news, placing the website at direct opposition with the leading Tanzanian political party Chama Cha Mapinduzi. Tom Rhodes, a member of the Committee to Protect Journalists in East Africa, notes that the website is notable for its function as a "cathartic tool where even disgruntled politicians go and upload sensitive documents" in the Irish Times.
Due to its use was a whistle blowing platform, BBC News characterized the website as a East African version of Wikileaks and noted that there was concern over rumors that the website was being hacked online by the Tanzanian government. BBC further indicated that Google's search engine had lowered the ranking of the site due to concern over government influence.
Beyond user-generated content, the founders of the website have advocated for freedom of media and social networking in Tanzania. The director of the website spoke out against recently-passed Tanzanian laws that purportedly give too much power to the Tanzanian National Bureau of Statistics.
From June 11, 2018, JamiiForums service was shut down and the platform was temporarily not available online due to failure of its owners to comply with government requirements of exposing users information and delaying paying registration fees as due to announcement made by Tanzania Regulatory Authority (TCRA). This Forum website is used across East Africa since its the biggest forum website in the region, however there are other forums coming up like Kenya Talk. and Kenyans247 Forum.
- "jamiiforums.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Tanzania: Jamiiforums Drags the Police to Court Over Whistleblowers". allAfrica.com. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Attiah, Karen (May 15, 2015). "The U.S. needs to stop ignoring Tanzania's media crackdowns". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "The Tanzanian Online Community Forum Giving the Government Sleepless Nights". Techmtaa. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Lamtey, Gadiosa (March 5, 2016). "Tanzania: Jamiiforums Drags the Police to Court Over Whistleblowers". The Citizen. AllAfrica. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
- Lopez, Oscar (October 24, 2015). "Tanzania's Election Crackdown on Dissent". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- McNeish, Hannah (July 8, 2015). "Tanzania accused of making laws on the hoof in 'Kafkaesque' curb on free speech". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "Mobile phones serve as conduit to freer media alternatives in Kenya". The Irish Times. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "African jitters over blogs and social media - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "Statistics Act, Cybercrime law unconstitutional - rights group". www.ippmedia.com. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "List of Forum Websites in East Africa". SandeKennedy ™. June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
- "JamiiForums | Where we Dare To Talk Openly". JamiiForums. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
- "KenyaTalk". KenyaTalk. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
- Kenyans247. "Kenyans247 Forum". www.kenyans247.com. Retrieved June 18, 2019.