Role of Social Media Platforms in the Spread of Fake News in Nyeri County, Kenya




Elections, Facebook, Fake News, Social Media, Twitter


Fake news is widespread in elections, especially during presidential elections. It has the potential to divide public opinion and create a hostile environment in which people feel their voices aren't being heard. The current study aimed to explore the role of social media platforms in the spread of fake news in Nyeri County. The study is anchored in agenda-setting theory. A mixed-methods approach is used. The population comprised adults in Nyeri County, registered journalists, bloggers, and social media experts, as well as politicians in the county. A sample of 195 respondents was calculated using the modified formulas by Fisher. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Quantitative analysis consisted of frequencies and percentages using Microsoft Excel. The qualitative data collected was analyzed using content analysis with the help of NVIVO software. The results of quantitative analysis were presented in the form of tables and figures, while those of qualitative data analysis were presented using narration. The study found that social media was the main source of fake news. Facebook and Twitter had the highest prevalence of fake news, with 87% and 72% of the respondents indicating that they witnessed fake news on the apps, respectively. The study therefore concluded that social media was the biggest source of fake news in Nyeri County. The study recommended that social media companies, especially Facebook and Twitter, should take more responsibility by implementing laws to protect against the spread of fake news. This can include flagging fake news and implementing tough penalties for users spreading propaganda on the internet.


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How to Cite

Munene, M. M., & Oloo, D. (2024). Role of Social Media Platforms in the Spread of Fake News in Nyeri County, Kenya . African Journal of Empirical Research, 5(2), 229–239.