Online misinformation about the 2022 Kenyan General election is bound to bring all sorts of real-world consequences if it’s not tamed.
Just a few days to the elections, prominent political accounts are sharing an edited video of Deputy President William Ruto that was made to look like the Kenya Kwanza frontman was allegedly preaching divisive politics while on the campaign trail in Uasin Gishu County.
Hours after Kenyans on Twitter realized the videos shared on ODM accounts were edited to incite and create turmoil, Twitter is yet to act and the videos remain online. This is despite numerous Kenyans taking it upon themselves to report the accounts and the videos.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho posted the edited video on his verified account on Tuesday, slamming DP Ruto for allegedly calling on Uasin Gishu natives to drive out non-indigenous Kenyans from the county should they decide not to back his presidential bid on the ballot on August 9, 2022.
“Completely unacceptable! It is just not right. This is now dangerous…Someone remind Ruto that Kenya is a country for all of us. Live where you want and vote your choice freely. This is exactly why we need Azimio la Umoja,” reads Joho’s tweet.
Platforms generally respond to misinformation with a mix of three tactics that includes removing content, reducing its visibility or providing additional context. However, Joho’s Tweet which had gained 882 retweets and 1,366 likes, by the time of publishing is still up.
Social media platforms in this day and age have become powerful tools for disinformation and misinformation and should do better to ensure they curb such kind of content before it spreads.