Within hours, what seemed to be a screenshot of a Facebook post by Citizen TV, a mainstream Kenyan news organisation, started circulating on the social network.
It claimed a second case of coronavirus had been confirmed “where a Multimedia University student tested positive”. The Multimedia University of Kenya (MMU) is based in Nairobi, the country’s capital.
“It is said probably over 1,000 students in MMU might be infected but they will have to wait for 14 days so that the virus shows up,” the screenshot read.
Did Citizen TV really report this news, on 13 March?
‘Stop creating panic’
On 14 March Citizen TV posted the screenshot on their verified Facebook page with “FAKE” stamped on it.
“Fake alert!!! Kindly ignore this post that is doing the rounds and avoid sharing it to stop creating panic,” the post reads.
MMU then took a screenshot of Citizen TV’s verified post and shared it on their Facebook page. It also appears on the university’s website.
Kenya’s second and third cases of Covid-19 were only confirmed on 15 March, and announced by president Uhuru Kenyatta. – Grace Gichuhi
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.