The country is about to have its General Election next month. So just how big a problem is fake news in Kenya and what impact is it having on the way people consume information?
Fake news has become a recent problem, the topic came to prominence during the recent US presidential campaign. For the first time, deliberately false news stories, or fake news, appeared to influence the outcome of an election.
A recent report reveals that 90% of Kenyans have perceived or overheard an untrue news around the 2017 general election, with 87% reporting case in point of deliberately false or fake news. The Reality of Fake News in Kenya, Fake news is a problem, if you see your friends sharing noticeably false news, be a friend and kindly tell them it’s not real.
— Africa’s Voices (@africas_voices) July 24, 2017
The countrywide survey was steered by strategic communications consultancy Portland in partnership with GeoPoll. In Kenya, social media is primarily reforming how citizens communicate and how brands and campaigners get their message across.
Simple ways to identify fake news on social media
- Look to see if a trustworthy news outlet is also reporting on the story/news
- Check for odd-looking domain names/ false urls, Fake news may include false sources of the news.
- Check the “About Us” tab on websites or look up the website, most sites will have a lot of info about the news outlet, the firm that runs it.
- Look at the date the news/article was published, if it’s breaking news, be extra careful.
- Most of the shared false news predicts a Future Disaster. A fair number of fake news stories catch the attention of readers because they predict a future disaster.