Kenya’s political temperatures have been rising with each coming day.
The next general elections are just around the corner and politicians are doing all they can to try and convince Kenyans to vote for them.
As the country continues to wade through a wave of political campaigns, fake news, marred with innuendos, propaganda and unfounded truths has taken the centre stage.
Kenyan politicians have taken onto blogs as well as social media platforms to peddle all manner of propaganda, lies and unverified information all in an effort to paint their competitors in the bad light.
The rate at which fake news is flying around the Kenyan airwaves is worrying. People are increasingly moving away from sourcing their information from the mainstream media and opting for rumor-peddling blogs and social media outfits.
Why is Kenya so much into fake news?
i) Kenya is in the era of social media boom. With more than 10 million Facebook users and more than one million Twitter users, Kenya is a ‘socializing’ nation with people trusting information from their ‘social media peers’ and not from the ‘boring and straightforward’ mainstream media.
ii) Fake news sells more than hard and straight forward news. Someone once said that a lie can travel a half the world when the truth is still putting on sandals. Most fake news have ‘screaming’ headlines with nothing tangible in their ‘body’ to attract the attention of readers.
iii) The lose of journalistic morals. Journalism has lost meaning with quacks posing and journalists being being every corner of the country especially Nairobi. This has been made worse by bloggers. People think that being a blogger qualifies one to be a journalist. These quacks are the one breathing a wave of fake news all over.
iv) Politicians are using bloggers to channel out fake news by paying them hefty cash. Sadly, sending out fake news pays. Some bloggers are minting millions from politicians using their skill of fabricating information against their opponents.
v) The failure of mainstream media to be authentic in news emission. Kenya’s mainstream media has been blamed of taking political sides during this campaign season and most Kenyans are losing faith in them.
These are not the only reasons why Kenya is so much into fake news. Stakeholders will be holding a roundtable discussion to shine a light on fake news in Kenya even as the country moves to elections.