Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/qw1txk

Tracking Disinformation - Social media and Namibia’s 2019 elections

14 February 2020


Snapshots of political disinformation in the run-up to the November 2019 elections What follows is a visual presentation of some of the numerous examples of political and electoral disinformation that were widely spread / shared / forwarded especially on and between Facebook and WhatsApp groups in the pre-elections period of September, October and November 2019 and the post election period of Dece. [...] However, the legal bid fed into a climate of rampant suspicion surround- ing the EVMs and the intervening period between 19 November and 27 November 2019 saw con- spiracies and hoaxes swirling around on social media, and on the day that the judgement was initially set to be passed, 25 November 2019, disinformation content such as the following did the rounds in social media groups. [...] The figures at the heart of the scandal – former justice minister Sakeus Shanghala and former fisheries minster Bernhard Esau, and their co-accused – were the subjects of numerous conspiracies and hoaxes in the days and weeks following the breaking open of the corruption scandal. [...] 4.10 election rigging hoaxes While the ECN was mishandling the communication of elections results in the days following 27 Novem- ber 2019, election rigging conspiracies and hoaxes started doing the rounds on especially Facebook and WhatsApp, with the following being examples of the sort of disinformation forwarded amongst Facebook and WhatsApp groups, and also on some Twitter accounts. [...] While the SMTC was the core component of this study, it formed part of a two track research initiative, which looked as follows: • The purpose of the SMTC was to identify and monitor the spread of politics and election-re- lated disinformation on social media over a three-month period (September to November 2019), up to and immediately after the 27 November 2019 presidential and National Assem- bl.