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Kenya’s election dogged by social media-infused inaccuracy

Kenya , 11 Aug 2022

Several civil-and human rights organisations have sounded an alarm over misinformation spread through social media and related to Kenya’s general election.

Amnesty International Kenya, Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet), SDG Kenya Forum and Fumbua Campaign released a joint statement in which they claim to have observed high levels of misleading information as officials tally the votes.

The statement reads: “Several posts by both Kenya Kwanza and Azimio Candidates and their supporters have intentionally sought to misinform the electorate and the public on the electoral process and the election results.

“These include distortion, false information shared without malicious intent (misinformation) and those shared to deliberately deceive people (disinformation).”

This comes after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) released almost all digital results forms from 46,229 polling stations..

Politicians and the media have struggled to collate data from the forms and this has exacerbated misinformation.

Social media was flooded with inaccurate and false results, with the IEBC having to repeatedly clarify the situation.

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has called for a unified tallying system that could be faster and provide a singular and verified view of the tallying process.

David Omwoyo, CEO of MCK said: “The council confirms that the results being projected are all from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, though the sequencing by different media houses is from different voting areas. The Media Council of Kenya is in consultation with the Media Owners and Editors to find an urgent solution to this to ensure Kenyans receive synchronised results.”

The IEBC asserted that while anyone can download the forms and tally the results, it is the duty and prerogative of the body to announce the official results.

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