By Irene mwende and Edna Okoth
Baraza Media Lab is proud to announce the official launch of the Fumbua Information
Integrity groundbreaking resource that aims to empower
individuals, businesses, and community organizations by providing them with the necessary
tools to identify, understand, and disrupt the flow of misinformation in our communities.
In today’s digital age, the spread of misinformation has become a formidable challenge,
impacting societies worldwide. Its effects can be far-reaching, leading to confusion, division,
and even harm. Recognizing the urgent need to address this issue, the Fumbua Information
Integrity Toolkit has been meticulously developed to equip users with the knowledge and
tools required to combat the growing problem of misinformation.
Maurice Otieno, the visionary behind Fumbua, emphasized the importance of the toolkit in
addressing the challenges surrounding information sharing and interpretation. “The Fumbua
Toolkit is a testament to the global challenge we face in how information is shared and
interpreted,” said Otieno Maurice Otieno. By providing individuals and organizations with
comprehensive resources, Fumbua aims to bridge the gap and empower users to make
informed decisions in an increasingly complex information landscape.
The Fumbua program was conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic, which witnessed the
detrimental effects of widespread misinformation on public health. Additionally, Baraza
Media Lab was keenly aware of the impact of misinformation on the digital landscape during
the 2017 general elections. As the 2022 elections approached, curbing misinformation
became an even more pressing concern. To address this, Fumbua adopted a multi-faceted
approach, with one of its key pillars being advocacy. Working in collaboration with media organizations, Fumbua sought to engage social media platforms and hold them accountable
for their role in combating misinformation.
“When we started Fumbua, one of our goals was to foster collaboration that would go
beyond elections, and we have managed to get there to a large extent and keep making
good progress,” shared Abdul Malik, highlighting the collaborative nature of the program.
“We want to make Fumbua the norm where people put aside their differences and come
together for the common good.”
Wanjiru Nguhi, Program Manager at Fumbua, highlighted the vital role of fact-checkers in
countering misinformation. “A lie travels faster than the truth,” said Nguhi, underscoring the
significance of reliable information verification. Fumbua launched the “Verify Before You
Share” campaign to promote conscientious information consumption and sharing practices
Building on their extensive experience and insights, Fumbua embarked on the creation of
the Information Integrity Toolkit. Understanding the need for inclusivity, the program aims
to operationalize the toolkit by translating it into local languages and optimizing it for
accessibility, ensuring its reach extends to individuals with disabilities.
The Fumbua Information Integrity Toolkit offers a wide range of features, including:
Comprehensive overview: Users will gain a deep understanding of the different types of
misinformation and the tactics used to propagate them. This knowledge will empower them
to recognize deceptive strategies and false narratives.
Source credibility evaluation: The toolkit equips users with techniques to assess the
credibility of sources and verify the accuracy of information. This enables them to make
informed judgments and rely on trustworthy sources.
Fact-checking guidance: Users will discover effective strategies and resources for factchecking information. By ensuring the dissemination of accurate and reliable content, they
play a crucial role in combating the spread of misinformation
Responding to misinformation: Practical advice on engaging in constructive dialogue,
reporting false information to social media platforms and effectively countering
misinformation within communities is provided. Users will be equipped with the necessary
tools to respond to and mitigate the negative impact of misinformation.
Doreen Wainaina, representative from Pesa Check, a fact-checking organization,
emphasized the importance of fact-checking in countering misinformation. “Information
that’s disseminated can be distorted by the time it gets to the end user. This gets amplified
on social media, and this is where the fact-checkers come in. They find the misinformation
and verify what the truth is,” explained Wainaina. “As fact-checkers, we have to work
together. No one person can overcome misinformation. This is why it was important to
create a toolkit for the end user.”
Wanjiru Nguhi, Program Manager of Fumbua at Baraza Media Lab, expressed her
enthusiasm about the launch, stating, “Misinformation has become a pervasive issue
affecting our society. With the Fumbua Information Integrity Toolkit, we aim to provide
individuals and organizations with the necessary resources to navigate this complex
landscape and empower them to make informed decisions.”
The Fumbua Information Integrity Toolkit will be available on the official Fumbua website.
Users are strongly encouraged to explore its features and provide valuable feedback to
enhance its effectiveness in combating misinformation.