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Kenyans Concerned About Political Misinformation Online- Report

Misinformation

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A big number of Kenyan citizens are concerned about misinformation online with trust in News channels at a steady decline globally. A report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism showed that 72 percent of Kenyans interviewed had reported seeing or interacting with misinformation ahead of the August 9 2022 polls.

Trust in News has fallen considerably, with only 42 percent of the global audience interviewed trusting the information. 43 percent of those in the study reported avoiding News altogether due to too much politics and Covid-19 information, while 36 percent reported that News had an overall negative impact on their mood. 29 percent were worn out by the amount of News and 29 percent though the News was biased. 17 percent said the News often leads to arguments while 16 percent said they had no use for the information.

According to the Reuters Report, the Smartphone has replaced the traditional forms of media as the first source of News for users in the morning. Younger people (18 to 24 years) preferred to access the news on social media than by visiting the actual publisher websites.

Read: Google Joins in Efforts to Tackle Misinformation on Search Engine Results

Facebook is the most used platform for News, although the bigger majority that access it are the older people. Younger people are reported to have ditched the platform for more visual platforms in the last three years.

TikTok was found to be the fastest growing platform, reaching 40 percent of 18-24 year olds. 15 percent of this figure use the platform to access News. The app is more popular in Africa, Asia and Latin America than in the US. Overall, Kenya reported the highest usage of TikTok with 43 percent of the respondents actively using the platform compared to 41 percent in South Africa and 35 percent in Mexico.

WhatsApp is widely used in Africa to source for and share News. In Kenya, 55 percent of the respondents used the platform with Telegram also seeing a significant rise with 18 percent of users.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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