A question of influence? Case study of Kenyan elections in a digital age

This report examines Kenya's digital information ecosystem in the run-up to, during and after the August 2022 election.

Online influence and coordinated disinformation campaigns during Kenya’s August 2022 elections highlight the threat posed to democratic institutions by weaponising digital communications. This study examines the use of social media and messaging platforms in the polls. It reveals an emerging marketplace for influence operations where hashtags and tweets carry a price tag and a vast supply of digital entrepreneurs stand ready to monetise their social networks.

About the authors

Karen Allen is a Consultant at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and writes extensively on emerging tech, terrorism, justice and other conflict-related themes.

Jean le Roux is an ISS Consultant and a disinformation researcher covering sub-Saharan Africa. He is a Research Associate with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.

Bonface Beti is a Kenya-based consultant and a human security policy analyst.

Image: © Amelia Broodryk/ISS

Development partners
The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
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