Coronavirus attracts “FOWARDED AS RECEIVED MESSAGES” Virus

Are you sure of the message you are forwarding?

Be careful about the information you forward

In the wake of coronavirus which seems to be spreading at a slower rate than the messages from the forwarders and receivers, it is now clear that propaganda, rumormongering, or “forwarded as received” has become the norm of the day, leading to unnecessary fear, panic in Kenya.

Despite the measures taken by the government to keep coronavirus out of the country, it is now taking measures to deal with the “forwarded as received” virus as well.

Are you sure of the message you are forwarding?

The health cabinet secretary Mutahi   Kagwe has warned over the “forwarded and received” behavior that is the master reason for panic in Kenya.

Kagwe says “Forwarding false information using social media is a criminal offense and one can be arrested, charged and fined”

According to computer misuse and cybercrime bill 2018, misleading information or factious data can attract 5 million fine or 2 years imprisonment.

According to Betty Munyala an IT specialist in Uasin Gishu County, there is no information that shows the implementation of this act, which may be the reason for “forwarding as received” disease growing rampantly.

“We have seen people spreading rumors about others or false information on social media, but we have never heard that the person has been tracked, found, and charged according to this law”, says Betty.

She adds that “We need to see a living example of people who have been charged or even sentenced over “forwarded as received” messages, in order to stop the disease from spreading”,

As sweet as the” forward as received” feels as you press the share button, it is now time to think twice before passing information to persons/groups. Verify the information, find the original source of the information, ask questions then press share if you have facts.

Mercy Tyra Murengu
A multi-award-winning journalist accredited by the Media Council of Kenya.

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