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Safaricom raises red flag on misleading fake news by unregulated bloggers

Guests at the launch of the Safaricom Sustainability Report. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Guests at the launch of the Safaricom Sustainability Report. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM has raised the red flag over fake news distributed via social media terming it as one of the “biggest challenge” it faced in the year to March 2017.

“The popularity and immediacy of social media has created a medium for unstructured journalism and the publishing of either unverified information or deliberately misleading stories,” said Safaricom in its annual sustainability report released Wednesday.

Google and Facebook are among firms that have recently raised concerns on misinformation and lies meant to skew public opinion presented as real news stories online.

A study by Portland and GeoPoll released recently, warned that deliberate spreading of false information is now a core part of the news mix in Kenya.

According to the study 90 per cent of Kenyans had heard or seen false stories related to the election, with a cross section of the population including official groups, friends, and families all using social media to spread misinformation.

The study had asked a sample of 2,000 Kenyans about their consumption of news related to the upcoming polls.

In August, acting Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i, urged the public to refrain from sharing fake news on social media.

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