Countering the New Media Podia: Youth and “Fake news” in Kenya

  • Oloo Ong'ong'a Ph.D. Research Fellow in Communication Studies, Institute of Communication Studies, Communication University of China, Beijing, China
Keywords: Fake News, New Media, Social Media, Youth, Media Literacy, Kenya

Abstract

The rise of fake news into the new media has raised significant concern in Africa and Kenya in recent years. The new media has embedded itself with fake news, which sometimes has led to the misunderstanding and misinformation of particular events that might be of the public interest. The general public, policymakers, and scholars, as well as the media, have found this as a very challenging issue. The upsurge of the new technologies, mainly social media, has posed challenges as youth immerse themselves in utilizing these social media for their benefits. This is coupled with the creation and spreading of fake news, which sometimes when it goes viral, leads to stress, panic and uncertainty to the individuals that come across them. The ability of users' exceptional capacity to produce, reproduce, and distribute their information to a broad audience makes social media, an essential tool in the information age. The article systematically reviews the literature on fake news and recommends for media literacy, strengthening the legal structures and use of technology as a strategy to fight fake news in the social media in Kenya.

 

Published
2021-04-01
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