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iVerify network: We scout social media in pursuit of misinformation

Maybe you’ve been wondering what the iVerify fact-checking desk at the Media Council of Kenya does? Maybe the question you’ve been asking yourself is who are these so-called fact-checkers?

Well, to be honest, we’re your average Tom, Dick, and Michelle (go Girl Power!) scouring the web, sceptical about every post we see on social media, and treating each one of them as malicious. You could call us superheroes of some sort whose chief mandate is pursuing the truth and bringing to justice the hardened and notorious criminal called misinformation.

Indeed, this hardened crime called misinformation has grown in leaps and bounds since February 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg revolutionised the world with the introduction of Facebook. Fast forward to 2023, and I’m pretty sure some of us have forgotten our handles and passwords to some social media apps we’re on. Special shout out to the Baby Boomers and Gen X in the house. Must be an arduous task right now for people who only had to quote what was written in the day’s newspapers and the argument was as good as done.

Technological advancements, most especially in the digital content creation space, have been fast-paced. And as an organisation whose key mandates involve regulating and disseminating information, it’s important that we’re at the forefront of each of these developments, and ensuring the information shared is accurate. The Media Council of Kenya does exactly that!

The iVerify platform, a fact-checking tool, was birthed on July 1, 2022, resulting from a partnership between the Council and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  At one year and two months old, it’s fair to say that the platform has outdone itself. Spare some time and peep at the debunked stories featured there. Yes, like any evolving team, we acknowledge that there are areas where we can grow such as feedback to accounts that have been identified as misinformers, and maybe a mechanism to flag these tweets as spreading misinformation, an effort that X has recently incorporated into its platform. But so far so good.

I don’t want to make this longer than it already is, but I’m sure by now you get the hang of what we do as fact-checkers. What we do is mostly featured on the last page of the Media Observer but trust me, just like Gotham needs Batman, the streets of Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok (and whatever else Silicon Valley and China are cooking) need us to maintain peace and sanity.

Here from the fact-checking desks, mambo yetu ni matatu: Identify misinformers, flag them down, and provide accurate information.

Check us out on Media Observer iVerify.

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