Share Leaks Securely

Social Network Analysis

Kenya’s paid Twitter propaganda machine.


How a network of paid agents uses online “astroturfing” campaigns to set political agendas.

On 2 August 2021 Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto was blocked at Nairobi’s Wilson airport from travelling to Uganda. The revelation that a Turkish man was part of Ruto’s planned entourage to Uganda caused debate in Kenya, especially after it emerged that he bore a similar name to an individual charged with terror in Germany two decades ago. Our interest in the events that followed was piqued by the hashtag #RutoPlanningViolence. The first tweet under this hashtag was posted on 4 August 2021, at 06:30 am, and took aim at Ruto’s motives. Our analysis suggests that this tweet opened up a Pandora’s box: it led to a myriad of posts containing allegations of a Ruto-orchestrated plot to grab power through violence. The network used current and historical events and controversies involving Ruto to propagate core narratives during the campaign. It spoke of an alleged “master plan” to use violence to win the upcoming election in August, 2022, claimed Ruto had links to terrorists, and highlighted his role in Kenya’s 2007/08 post-election violence. The network also employed tactics such as using graphically manipulated images and automated accounts to amplify the campaign’s messaging.

Read on Medium

Leak info to secure platform

Leak Here Afrileaks Logo