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Kenyans bombarded with fake news in presidential election


Kenyans queued to vote on August the
8th last year the country divided politically and ethnically. The memory of
2007 when more than a thousand were killed in election violence always
present. The 2017 poll pitted long term opposition leader Raila Odinga against
the incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta, who won again, with a little help from
Cambridge Analytica. Robert Muthuri is studying the impact of social media during the campaign. The problem here would be fake news. Yes.
Or disinformation. Negative ads were spread on
Facebook and other platforms by advocates for both main parties, but
most attacked Raila Odinga, Kenyatta’s opponent. Kenyans were micro-targeted with
specific messages, mainly by Whatsapp. Jubilee, Kenyatta’s party, has not said
that this was the expertise for which they contracted Cambridge Analytica, but
it is a tactic in which the company specialises. Most of the people that
we’ve asked in a survey that we’ve just concluded said they had not given any
form of consent and they didn’t have previous relationships with this
political aspirants that were asking them to come and vote for them.
– So where could that data have been mined from? Right now our hypothesis is that there was data from different government registries. So the registrar of persons holds data on people. The IEBC holds data…. –That’s the Election Commission?
Exactly. Holds data on voting and the telecoms or holds data on subscribers, the numbers for instance. The messages were very specific identifying you by name, by where your county is, your constituency, your word and asking you to come and vote on a particular day for a
particular person in your exact polling station. None of which is illegal because
there is no data protection law in Kenya. Nairobi’s Ihub. Up to 8 million Kenyans
are on Facebook and even more on Whatsapp, out of an electorate of nearly
20 million – political messages spread quickly. Whatsapp is perhaps the most
powerful social media tool in Kenya and what people would typically do is like
oh if I like this, if it agrees with me or I want to share it to my many, 17, 18,
different groups I just send it to all of them and say: “As received.” Then I
don’t have to take responsibility for it. And then there’s also a whole lot of
people our parents and our grandparents who are on Whatsapp and they believe
if it’s out there, then it’s true. Before the vote an apocalyptic attack ad
called The Real Raila appeared at the top of internet searches in Kenya,
alongside one called Uhuru for us. It wasn’t clear who had made them nor who
had paid for their search engine prominence. ‘The Real Raila’ website and the ‘Uhuru For Us’ website share the same Google Analytics tracking code and this
is also a code that is shared with Harris Media LLC. Harris Media, based in
Texas, is the publicist of choice for the Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu and
right wing U.S. causes. They haven’t said that they worked for the Kenyatta
campaign and Kenyan law has no requirement to reveal who paid for
political advertising. That’s a legal loophole that exists primarily because
of the state of technology in the country and the state of the conversation
about technology in the country. There should be some kind of qualms about
taking advantage of that kind of a loophole for profit and especially in a
fragile democracy in a fragile context. More than 50 people were killed in
post-election violence. In the end, the poll was annulled by the Supreme Court
because of problems in the count. The opposition boycotted the rerun. In the last three weeks, the old foes President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, shook hands lowering the political temperature. Everything’s back to normal now but
Kenyans are already dreading the next election season, wondering what kind of
dirty digital campaign their leaders will dream up and with whose help. yesterday i sat down with the opposition
leader Riya at Inga and I asked him what impact he thought Cambridge analytical
Harris media and these kinds of digital techniques had had on the Kenyan
election one of the first guinea pigs in this experiment in Kenya in 2013 we were
new to this kind of thing and we really didn’t know how to deal with it then we
saw them again come back in 2016 and this time I think that perfected the art
of manipulating data because all of a sudden we saw on the screen television
screens very strange advance which people didn’t even know their sauce
coming from and then on the Facebook page if you ever opened the Kenyan
Facebook page you get introduced to those negative campaign who is Raila
Odinga on the real rail Odinga and the real Ryder Odinga
in those ads was a very evil man very very even the devil incarnate but that
wasn’t Cambridge on disco that was this company Harris media what did you manage
to find out about Harris media you don’t know the difference between Carruth
media and coverage and because we think they’re working for the
same client that there are some kind of relationship between them we’ve noticed
establish exactly the difference but the net result is that this is a very
negative campaign what difference do you think the prevalence of social media in
Kenya made to the negative campaigning because in Kenya we’ve seen a massive
increase in in social media use in the last five years or so certainly since
the last election is leading the continent in terms of penetration social
media penetrates use of social media and I think they will found the right
environment here that they need sufficient raw materials for this kind
of propaganda and I’m also very disappointed that Facebook agreed to to
cooperate in this clandestine enterprise I have been very disappointed and we
actually contemplating legal action against the Facebook here in Kenya we
will do it outside the Kenya do it outside Kenya how will that work so we
have lawyers from Kenya and Dotel Kenya dealing with this matter what about
Cambridge analytical themselves would you consider taking legal action against
them certainly here in Kenya there are no laws which stop political parties or
anybody else for that matter from mining people’s data surely the problem is that
the law in Kenya is not adequate there are agree views that certainly there is
a gap in terms of legal infrastructure in the country and this is also a listen
to our legislators that that loophole needs to be
clothes some people would say that you also had access to data illegally
because you also your party was also micro targeting voters and that actually
you’re just complaining about this because they’re the opposition’s
propagandists were better than your propagandists this is not true you
understand that we did the campaign under very difficult circumstances here
first you need know that our own consultants the arrestor are his total
group of companies their officials here two of them were arrested and deported
from this country without any reason being given at all what is it about
Kenya which makes it particularly vulnerable to this kind of campaigning
and these kinds of consultants who are working as we’ve seen in America and in
Nigeria and various places certainly very vulnerable and the introduction of
this system which is being brought by the cambrian Eliska itself
potential body for the for the electoral democracy in the continent I don’t think
that is not a danger for Africa the danger universally if this development
is allowed to to succeed then there will be no point in having elections because
it is not going to be the will of the people the people are going to be turned
like robots so that the vote in accordance with how they are manipulated
to vote that’s my view is not the meaning of the essence of democracy well
we put those allegations by mr. Dhingra to Facebook who said we categorically
deny allegations of political cooperation with one party over another
in the presidential elections or support for Facebook campaigns by
Cambridge analytic in the 2017 Kenyan election it should also be said that
just before the vote a Facebook very interestingly put up on their site some
tools which Kenyan voters could use to try and distinguish between fake news
and the real thing so it’s quite clear that Facebook were very aware that this
was a problem in the Kenyan elections and they did try and do something to
counter it just before the vote well until you focus very much on Kenya in
your reports tonight but are you sensing that there is deep unease about
Cambridge analytic air and other African countries yes I think so they were
involved in Nigeria allegedly for Goodluck Jonathan who was the last
president and there was an attack ad put out against President Buhari the now
president Buhari so it should be said that this didn’t work but it was a
similar very apocalyptic kind of ad that we saw in the real rila and I think that
one of the problems in Nigeria Kenya in many other African countries is that
there really is no legal framework for dealing with this because the technology
has spread far ahead of the of the law and Africa is it’s people are on the
internet a lot people send money by internet people use it all the time it’s
tremendously important in people’s everyday lives and unless there are new
data protection laws coming in as well as campaign transparency these kind of
issues are only going to grow you

36 Comments

  1. Grey Chip
    Grey Chip March 26, 2018

    You ever thought that the people are waking up to you globalists aren't buying it anymore, but what this is really about is the government trying to justify taking control over the internet as its the weapon which is opening peoples eyes. And what makes you think that people cannot think for ourselves and are fed up of the constant lies spread by you MSM.

  2. Alien Machine
    Alien Machine March 26, 2018

    Democracy is dead, now its time for war.

  3. blood honey
    blood honey March 26, 2018

    Raatid! I missed this.

  4. Tahira Porter
    Tahira Porter March 26, 2018

    We are ALL being take for a ride! There is no democracy any more!

  5. Potate -O
    Potate -O March 26, 2018

    Hopefully, countries will start taking cyber security much more seriously now. That includes manipulation through social media.

  6. F8oK8
    F8oK8 March 26, 2018

    Cambridge Analytica, the SCL, the Mercers and Emerdata have a lot to answer for! All should be arrested asap, before they have the chance to do this again!!!

  7. Nathan C.
    Nathan C. March 26, 2018

    3:35 Netanyahou isn't President of Israel, he's prime minister.

  8. Ethiopian Songs
    Ethiopian Songs March 26, 2018

    it is sickening to see a white lady to come to Africa and tell us how to deal with our elections and matters.

  9. Chicot The Jester
    Chicot The Jester March 26, 2018

    Fake news? Are Channel 4 and the BBC available in Kenya then?

  10. DANTEZ ENTERTAINMENT
    DANTEZ ENTERTAINMENT March 26, 2018

    This is a wake-up call for African countries to take cybersecurity seriously so as to protect our democracy from any form of interfernce.

  11. mbero akoko
    mbero akoko March 26, 2018

    As a Kenyan , manipulation of people on a tribal basis has been there since we were colonized , the British schooled the first government and are still schooling them. No hard feelings though XD.

  12. Hamza Elmoge
    Hamza Elmoge March 26, 2018

    This is Kenyan story channel 4 concentrate on American ideology and the Trump Compaign and your Cambridge analytica

  13. Adam Smythe
    Adam Smythe March 26, 2018

    How does Trump keep getting away with this!

  14. Gazza
    Gazza March 26, 2018

    Just like when channel 4 news and others did the same to Egypt. They also got the left wing lady into power in Asia, she's now a war criminal. Iraq and many other country's have had the same treatment off channel 4. Cambridge analytic is wrong to get dirt on political opponents, but channel 4 news is now doing it to trump themselves, boy o boy this is an alternative reality of fake news by mainstream media

  15. aman singh
    aman singh March 26, 2018

    Pappu is in the touch with Cambridge Analytica

  16. Choraldiscourse
    Choraldiscourse March 26, 2018

    Out of interest, would anyone here be persuaded to vote another way by a WhatsApp message?

  17. ToM2CoOL
    ToM2CoOL March 26, 2018

    All countries have fake news…

  18. Paulo Constantino
    Paulo Constantino March 26, 2018

    lol whoever would want to manipulate the elections of that shithole of a country

  19. Nibverendi Anstantagstagatsulari
    Nibverendi Anstantagstagatsulari March 26, 2018

    That's not legal loophole ma'am. That's a freaking giant, sparkling gateway for something like this to happen. These people knew that countries like Kenya don't have strict data protection law and campaign transparency law and they made the most from it. This is a wake-up call to any citizen of third world country that their votes can be molded on-demand and they can't do anything afterwards, therefore making the need to take up cybersecurity and cyberprivacy awareness and laws immediately.

  20. SAY FAMI
    SAY FAMI March 26, 2018

    DIGITAL FIREWALL LIKE THE CHINESE IS OUR ONLY SOLUTION 🤫

  21. s h a d ø w b a n n e d
    s h a d ø w b a n n e d March 26, 2018

    50 people dead.

    Honestly, Mercer very likely has actual blood on his hands.

  22. Ronald Donald
    Ronald Donald March 27, 2018

    what exactly is fake news… lies which are not peddled by BBC, CNN or MSNBC? or even Channel 4? Lets be democratic and allow everyone to lie to others… you are weeping over your lost privilege over the monopoly to lie to us… I say more democracy.. let everyone lie.

    In other areas, Western governments are sanctioning Russia because it too has decided to start killing people beyond its borders on a massive scale. I dare say that even with all the bombing in Syria (which the US's jihadis have also assisted in carrying out), they are still a long way from achieving excellence in mass murder with media cover to boot on the scale of Iraq, Libya and Yemen… These Russians are truly amateurs of this mass murder business.

    Unless we truly confront the hegemonic character of the world order, sustained by an undemocratic UN, more and more countries will invest in military might and try to achieve their interests through murder like the big nations. They too will have media of their own, backing their murders as did CNN, BBC, France24 and others in all these murderous, illegal wars…

    But hubris and self-righteousness looms large. Typical of people used to living in ivory towers of privilege where they decide who lives or dies with wanton contempt. Good luck, your world order is ending… viva fake news… lets all participate in this murderous lies.

  23. Galileo Resident
    Galileo Resident March 27, 2018

    Nothing is not to Normal. Miguna Miguna has been detained to day by fake claiming to be Kenya GSU.. RAILA was at the Airport but he commented nothing on Miguna. The Man who stood with him on 30th January 2018. But now he has turned against Miguna Miguna., Ford kenya and Wiper.

  24. A New Perspective Films
    A New Perspective Films March 27, 2018

    This is straight out of 1984, might as well call it the ministry of truth.

  25. TheCausation
    TheCausation March 27, 2018

    Anything I don't like is fake news!

  26. greathey1234
    greathey1234 March 27, 2018

    Simple answer, get rid of all social networking accounts and live in privacy and peace.

  27. TexasTimelapse
    TexasTimelapse March 27, 2018

    #DeleteFacebook
    #fuckzuck

  28. Mauladous Basantes
    Mauladous Basantes March 27, 2018

    The Jubilee party under the advise of Cambridge Analytica, hired dozens of top Kenyan bloggers in town together with a millions of Facebook and Tweet bots they raged some crazy war that rose some political temperature. At-least right now its has chilled out.

  29. Victor Shackapopulus
    Victor Shackapopulus March 27, 2018

    Ah yes and British People were coerced into voting to leave the EU. Not really. Not a news report but a news production.

  30. sanjuansteve
    sanjuansteve March 27, 2018

    We are the terrorists of the world. All for the love of money (fear).

  31. James Grey
    James Grey March 27, 2018

    Kenyans bombarded with hoax presidential election in fake democracy

  32. cary bary
    cary bary March 27, 2018

    Kenyan goat shagging isn’t fake news. It’s apart of Male culture over there

  33. A W
    A W March 27, 2018

    People are referring to news that they want to censor as Fake News. Government propaganda is the real FAKE news.

  34. Laura Muller
    Laura Muller March 27, 2018

    yesterday number nearby balance pass indicator struggle northeast operate valley peak explanation hire gallery.

  35. dʒeɪms
    dʒeɪms April 1, 2018

    They are not yet ready for self determination

  36. verne davis
    verne davis June 12, 2019

    good reporter. doesn't interrupt , polite questions

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