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No, Kenya deputy president William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance hasn’t called for media boycott – statement fake

A statement seemingly by Kenyan deputy president William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance, calling on supporters to shun certain media outlets, is circulating on Facebook.

It’s headed: “MEDIA BOYCOTT OF 411 NEWS, THE NAIROBIAN & WEEKLY CITIZEN BY UDA PARTY”.

The statement reads: “The United Democratic Party (UDA) is directing all its members, affiliates, and delegates with immediate effect to unsubscribe from the 411 News flash message service for its blatantly false and biased reporting against the UDA party and our presidential candidate HE Deputy President William Ruto.”

It adds: “411, along with several other news outlets including The Nairobian, Citizen Weekly, and The Standard, have in the past week published news articles targeted at sabotaging the integrity and dignity of the UDA party and Hon William Ruto by raising accusations of domestic violence, witchcraft, association to ungodly organisations such as Freemasons and financial misappropriations.”

The outlets “continue to paint UDA and Hon William Ruto in a perpetual bad light and affect the mental health of his family and close associates”, it says.

The statement appears to be signed by Anthony Mwaura, chair of the UDA’s national election board. But is it real? We checked.

UDAStatement_Fake

‘Fake, fake’

Several high profile Kenyans shared it as being genuine. But there are several signs that the document is fake.

For instance, it does not appear on the party’s Facebook and Twitter pages. It also doesn't appear on its website.

There are also clear errors in the document, such as it referring to the party as the United Democratic Party and not the United Democratic Alliance. There are also typos: “published as article” instead of “published an article”.

Africa Check asked Wanjohi Githae, the party’s director of communications, if the statement was by the UDA.

His answer was simple: “Fake fake.”

The Standard Group PLC, which owns the Nairobian, also posted the document on Facebook – stamped “FAKE NEWS”.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

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.

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