Truth Behind Viral Video of Barrack Obama Endorsing Ruto

  • Doctored poster showing former US President Barrack Obama unveiling Deputy President William Ruto's portrait
    Doctored poster showing former US President Barrack Obama unveiling Deputy President William Ruto's portrait
    BBC
  • A doctored video and a poster have emerged online purporting that the former US President, Barrack Obama, has endorsed Deputy President William Ruto ahead of the August 9 General Election.

    The video and the poster first went viral on Tiktok insinuating that the former US President unveiled a huge portrait of Ruto, thus throwing his support behind his candidature in the upcoming polls.

    A spot check by Kenyans.co.ke has established that the video is doctored and manipulated to mislead the electorates ahead of polls.  

    The spot check further revealed that the text on the poster had grammatical errors and the colours on the banner do not match thus making it fake.

    UDA presidential candidate Deputy President William Ruto (left) and his running mate and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua at the funeral service of the Late James Reriani Gachagua at Hiriga village, Nyeri County on May 17, 2022
    UDA presidential candidate Deputy President William Ruto (left) and his running mate and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua at the funeral service of the Late James Reriani Gachagua at Hiriga village, Nyeri County on May 17, 2022
    Cate Waruguru

    The video was first shared on Tiktok and widely circulated. It was further amplified when Ruto shared old footage of Obama addressing US residents on matters economy.

    However, further analysis of the clip established the original and genuine video was filmed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington in 2018. During the event, Obama unveiled a portrait of himself after he had vacated office as President.

    The fake video and poster have further been flagged by international media houses including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and The Times UK highlighting the dangers of misinformation ahead of the polls.

    With 69 days to the polls, discussions have garnered pace on various social media platforms, with most Kenyans being exposed to misinformation and disinformation.

    Just a few months ago, Mozilla reported that Twitter was used to disseminate misinformation to Kenyans. According to Mozilla's report, the platform allowed the thriving of misinformation and disinformation which comprised of influencers for hire who sell their services on the platform to politicians and political groups.

    The platforms have an unpleasant history of abetting election misinformation and disinformation. In the 2017 elections, Cambridge Analytica played a huge role in manipulating information that was being shared online.

    The government, in a move to curb misinformation and led by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, has put in place plans to tame the use of social media to avoid the spread of fake news as the elections draw closer.

    File photo of Kenyans in a queue waiting to cast their vote in a past election.
    File photo of Kenyans in a queue waiting to cast their vote in the 2017 General Election.
    File