Africa Check often exposes fake front pages of Kenyan newspapers, designed to spread false information. Part of our evidence is social media alerts in which the newspapers post the fake front page – stamped “fake” – next to the real deal.
People behind this kind of disinformation have also adopted a different tactic: claiming a real front page is fake, and the fake one real.
In September 2020 two almost identical front pages of the Standard newspaper were posted on Facebook. The first has the headline “Uhuru call that shattered Ruto’s plans” and is stamped “fake”. The second, with the headline “How Oigara, KCB laundered 2B for Ruto”, is untouched.
The two front pages were posted in a 115,000-member Facebook group with the comment: “Don't be dubbed [sic] into reading the wrong Headline. Yesterday, DCI launched investigations into money laundering claims at KCB bank by Ruto allie [sic] Oigara.”
Fakers will fake
“We would like to inform the public that this headline on a supposed copy of The Standard is FAKE. Right image is the genuine front page,” the paper said.
We would like to inform the public that this headline on a supposed copy of The Standard is FAKE.— The Standard Digital (@StandardKenya) September 25, 2020
Right image is the genuine front page.
Grab a copy of The Standard at your nearest vendor,
Subscribe: https://t.co/C6ban4mrh8 pic.twitter.com/s3YHKBqMtH
But on the same day, an edited version of the Standard’s warning appeared on the Twitter account @TweetKenya. The front pages were swapped so that the real edition was labelled fake. This was, of course, itself fake.
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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 Meta'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.