“DCI urges members of the public to stop spreading fake news.” The DCI is Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the police arm responsible for investigating crime.
The post links to the Citizen TV website, which carries a 12 January 2020 article headlined: “DCI dismisses ‘terror alert’ circulating on social media as fake”.
According to the article, the fake terror alert identifies “a number of installations, social and worship places” as targets.
“The document was alleged to have been issued by the Nairobi Area Region Criminal Investigations officer (RCIO) and signed by Mr Ben Nyakwaka,” the article says.
But Citizen TV’s Facebook post has, in turn, been flagged as false by the social network’s fact-checking system.
Did the DCI dismiss the terror alert as fake? We checked.
‘This is a FAKE document’
On 12 January, the DCI posted this warning on its official Twitter account: “Our attention has been drawn to a security brief allegedly from the office of the RCIO Nairobi Area and signed by Mr Ben Nyakwaka. It is circulating on social media. It names a number of installations, social and worship places and purports to issue security alert.”
In a second tweet, it said: “We wish to confirm that this is a FAKE document. The casual draft is evident for such information if it was genuine at all. It is an open document marked for ‘ALL’. No such classified document is ever dispatched from any authoritative office in this style and design.”
And the third tweet in the thread added: “The office of the Nairobi RCIO is not authorized or have capacity to issue such information. There are authorities that deal & tasked with such operations & are best placed to issue such alerts. We urge the public to ignore it with the contempt it deserves.” – 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”, “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.