Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories on COVID-19 pandemic: The Kenyan Perspective
International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews (IJRAR) 2021
14 Pages Posted: 10 May 2021
Date Written: May 06, 2021
Misinformation and conspiracy theories have dominated different spheres of the World. Politics is heavily affected with political fields awash with false and inaccurate information that is meant to deliberately deceive. The masses are misinformed when they confidently hold wrong beliefs and conspiracy theories that magnify the state of an issue leading to negligence and poor decision making that is fatal. Corona virus which is a novel virus with its origin in Wuhan China has spread around the World since its discovery in 2019 and ravaged countries. The war on COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya has been hit hard by both misinformation and conspiracy theories and they endanger the efforts set by the authorities to curb the continuous spread of the virus in the country. Considering the disruption that the pandemic can impose on healthcare, the availability of accurate and reliable information verses the reality, this study presents evidence of misinformation and conspiracy theories in Kenya as it battles COVID-19 pandemic since the first case in March 2020.The study adopted narrative research design with in-depth interviews which is a qualitative research technique. Interviews involved conducting thorough individual interviews with a small number of respondents to explore their acuity on a particular idea, program, or situation. Based on Goffman’s, 1974framing theory which postulates that attention is drawn to certain attributes of the objects of news coverage as well as the objects themselves which the media plays, the study sought to put misinformation and conspiracy theories in perspective. A sample of 15 respondents from the rural part of Western Kenya was used and arrived at purposefully from a local radio funs directory. It engaged 15 respondents, two experts; health expert and a communication expert and the findings were narratively scribed. It’s expected that the findings will built more literature on the study area and impact on the Kenyan governments’ battle on the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of information circulation and countering misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Keywords: Conspiracy, Misinformation, Pandemic, Corona
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