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Is Flame TV spreading misinformation on Social Media?

SOURCE:Media Council of Kenya

According to Flame Tv’s Facebook Page-  Flame Tv Kenya mandate is “News doesn’t break on television anymore.News breaks on your phone. At Flame Tv, Kenya’s Leading Online TV Channel, our core function isn’t to tell you the news; by the time you tune in to Flame TV, you’ve already heard it. Our job is to give you the ultimate in terms of analysis — to give you the human story behind the story. To give you THE UN-EDITED TRUTH.”

The page that was created on February 16, 2019 has a following of 45,205 people. The information on the page indicates they operate from 10th floor Victoria Towers, Kilimanjaro Road, Upper Hill in Nairobi.

The station carried several posts on their Facebook page whose accuracy and validity is doubtful.

 

Is Flame TV spreading misinformation on Social Media?

 

The posts shared on two diverse dates were fabrications. The incidents mentioned could not be verified by those mentioned. This was purely meant to excite the public and spread misinformation.

 

The date the page was created is suspect and the location on Google shows they operate from Kitui and not Nairobi Upper Hill as indicated on the page. A click on https://bit.ly/2Vglm -No directs one to Kitui County where the station operates from.

 

Our efforts to reach Flame TV for this report through the contacts supplied by them failed.

Based on the content that is not well researched and falsehoods continuously posted on their FB page, and cognizant of the number of followers, there is danger of people being misled into believing as factual most of their posts, when the opposite is true.

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In the wake of increased misinformation online, Facebook has come up with ways on reducing the spread. Among the measures in Working to Stop Misinformation and False News Facebook notes that “False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust. It’s not a new phenomenon, and all of us — tech companies, media companies, newsrooms, teachers — have a responsibility to do our part in addressing it”

 

The key areas that Facebook is concerned about in working to reduce the spread of misinformation include, 1) disrupting economic incentives because most false news is financially motivated; 2) building new products to curb the spread of false news; and 3) helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.

Spreading false information by any channel that purports to be a media house is gross violation of journalistic standards of factual and accurate reporting. Flame TV in many instances violates the standards.

In this digital age when everyone is exposed to too much information, we need to work with stakeholders in solving this problem: tech companies, media entities, educational organizations and the community can come together to help in curbing the spread of misinformation and false news.

Such platforms whose intent is to mislead the public should continuously be called out as soon as they are identified. Most of them have large followers and if left unchecked the danger of having a public that is misinformed is huge.

SOURCE:Media Council of Kenya

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