A study by Mozilla Foundation has revealed that social media platforms Facebook, TikTok and Twitter performed poorly in their efforts to stop the spread of misinformation during the Kenyan 2022 elections.
“The platforms failed to recognize some very fundamental aspects about elections in environments like Kenya’s. None of these measures addressed the systemic problem of how tech platforms may be designed to polarize communities.” the study says.
Twitter and TikTok, for instance, implemented a policy where content that attempted to call elections before any official declaration by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) was labelled. While this was commendable. However, this strategy failed to bear fruits.
“The enforcement of this policy was spotty at best. There’s no clarity about what the policy of implementing labels was supposed to be.” The report observes.
The far-reaching report published online by Mozilla Foundation highlights a lot of areas where social media platforms failed in their mandate.
“Social media companies played a significant role in the tension and confusion that plagued Kenya after voting day, despite platforms’ prior promises to reign in misinformation.”
“Because the country led what was largely deemed to be a peaceful election, platforms’ misbehaviour and deviance will likely be overlooked.” The report concludes.