Tackling Misinformation on WhatsApp in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa

Effective Strategies in a time of Covid-19

This publication brings to the fore misinformation about Covid-19 as witnessed by WhatsApp users in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.


Researchers describe WhatsApp as a "dark social-media platform" because messages on this network are encrypted. Fact-checkers face an uphill task in countering misinformation on WhatsApp - the most popular social media in Africa. In the publication, researchers discuss mitigating strategies that fact-checking organisations use and explain how misinformation can threaten the impact of Covid-19 and permanently reduce the society's trust in the health system. Initiated and funded by KAS Media Africa, this study was undertaken by Africa Check and the Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE) in the middle of the pandemic.
Africa Check is the continent’s leading independent, non-partisan, fact-checking organisation. Established in 2012, it has offices in Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos and Dakar. The organisation aims to raise the quality of information available to society across Africa. Founded in 2016, the ACE is a research organisation based at the University of Johannesburg. The centre's mission is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequality in Africa through the use of evidence.
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  • Prof Ruth Stewart
    • Africa Centre for Evidence (University of Johannesburg)
    • Director Nicola Theunissen
    • Africa Check
    • Research Consultant on Misinformation in Africa Noko Makgato
    • Africa Check Director Moderator: Christoph Plate
    • KAS Media Africa Director