US Ambassador Robert Godec Launches Fight Against Fake News in kenya

  • US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has announced that the United States government is gearing up to fight fake news in Kenya.

    Godec maintained that information is power, but fake news is a real danger, adding that it had eroded confidence in Kenya’s real news media.

    Speaking during an interview, Godec stated: “Fake news is being weaponized. It’s undermining democracy in Kenya.”

    He further remarked: “We’re not asking them to believe any particular thing. We’re just urging people not to take everything they see on their phone via WhatsApp as the truth because it may not be.”

    [caption caption="A post by the US Embassy dispelling a fake statement"][/caption]

    Godec commenced a campaign to create awareness where he asked young people to pledge to prevent the spread of fake news by verifying the source and validity of information before passing it along.

    Additionally, the US will be offering resources to some institutions and people on how to discriminate between fact and fake.

    The campaign involves training sessions for public affairs officials in counties, encouraging local governments to be more responsive and forthcoming so that journalists on deadline can fact-check information they hear.

    The focus on fighting fake news started after video clips were circulated online showing a fake CNN broadcast alleging that President Uhuru Kenyatta was far ahead of his competitors in the 2017 polls.

    However, the CNN broadcast was fake, splicing together real coverage from CNN Philippines with other footage with the network’s iconic red logo superimposed in the corner.

    The same happened with a BBC video, which had a picture purportedly of Kenyan security forces killing protesters that was actually from Tanzania.

    [caption caption="A fake news statistic that was disputed by the BBC"][/caption]