Media Council Flags 7 Influential Kenyans for Spreading Misinformation

  • A collage image of Dennis Itumbi, Nairobi Senator-elect Edwin Sifuna and Lawyer Miguna Miguna
    A collage image of Dennis Itumbi, Nairobi Senator-elect Edwin Sifuna and Lawyer Miguna Miguna
    File
  • The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has flagged seven influential figures for spreading misinformation on social media platforms during the concluded August 9 polls.

    Among those who were accused of spreading misinformation include, Nairobi senator-elect Edwin Sifuna, Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi, digital strategist Dennis Itumbi, Dikembe Disembe, Mac Otani (journalist), Kileleshwa MCA-elect Robert Alai and lawyer Miguna Miguna.

    MCK alleged that the seven misled the public with information they shared on the concluded General Election. 

    "There was weaponisation of misinformation and propaganda during the elections and beyond, especially on digital platforms that border on defamation and publication of false content.

    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati handing over an election certificate to President-elect William Ruto at Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022
    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati handing over an election certificate to President-elect William Ruto at Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022
    Kenyans.co.ke

    "Most of the websites that shared misinformation were designed to make consumers assume they are reading from reliable sources," MCK stated in its report.

    Additionally, MCK also noted that the outgoing Gatundu South Member of Parliament, Moses Kuria, was summoned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over a post he made on his social media accounts.

    "The MP claimed in a series of Facebook posts and videos that the State was planning to manipulate the vote.

    "Most of the content was fabricated to mislead consumers and spread fake news within their networks."

    In the report, MCK also noted that some social media influencers created accounts in the name of notable Kenyans to mislead the public. 

    "The use of pseudo accounts by individuals was very rampant during the election period, an example is Davis Chirchir, S.K Macharia and Wambugu Ngunjiri. The use of reputable brands (media houses) to spread propaganda and misinformation was also observed," MCK added. 

    Misinformation during the electioneering period was noted to be on the rise on various social media platforms.

    Twitter introduced a new feature to flag some of the posts made by politicians and Kenyans regarding the election results.

    In the app's information tab, users were often warned that results posted by an individual did not emanate from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

    File image of a phone user perusing a gadget.
    File image of a phone user perusing a gadget.
    File
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