Social Media and Elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe (SoMeKeZi)

Namibia University of Science and Technology

Abstract

This research project focuses on two African countries—Zimbabwe and Kenya—that have experienced the mass circulation and production of fake news and disinformation in their last national elections. Using virtual ethnographic, data scraping, social network analysis and audience studies, this study aims to examine the extent to which social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp were used as conduits to share facts, half-truths, and falsehoods, and to misinform and spread political conspiracy theories during the 2017 and 2018 elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe respectively. This study analyzes the phenomenon of fake news and disinformation from two main angles: practices and motivations of producers (how and why people create fake news and disinformation), and meanings derived from these texts by consumers (how consumers of fake news decode them based on the preferred, oppositional, and aberrant readings of texts).

Research Team

Principal Investigator

Admire Mare

Senior Lecturer of Communications, Namibia University of Science and Technology

  • Bio ▾

    Dr. Admire Mare is a senior lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Department of Communication, Faculty of Human Sciences, Windhoek, Namibia.

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