Fake news has become a recent problem in social media, especially after its effects were documented in the recent General Election that was conducted in the United States.
Fast forward to Kenya, the country is about to have its General Election next month. The country has 39.6 million Internet users, which is 81% of the total population. This means that there a lot of people out there in the country using the Internet as a source of information and not all information they see on social networks might not be entirely factual.
That is what Portland and GeoPoll seeked to find out where they wanted to quantify the prevalence and impact of false information during an election campaign in Africa. They interviewed 2000 respondents across the 47 countries through an SMS survey and they found out some interesting statistics.
A whopping 90% of the residents reported to have seen false or inaccurate news regarding the general election and 87% of them regarded these news as fake news.
However, traditional media still remains as the most trusted news source where TV ranks the highest, followed by radio and newspapers. Radio is still the most accessed news source in Kenya.Interesting enough, Kenyans trust news from friends, family and community leaders the least when it comes to the general election.
Unsurprisingly, they found that in Kenya, Facebook and WhatsApp are the most popular social media platforms for news (46% and 25% respectively.) 49% of respondents said that they received news about the election from social media and although social media is widely used by Kenyans, it still ranks lower than traditional media when it comes to trust.
Nevertheless, Kenyans are quite optimistic when it comes to getting factual information, as 78% of the respondents would like accurate and general information about the general election instead of opinion and commentary. 67% of respondents preferred detailed information about politics, while the minority preferred summarized and concise content.