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Kigali, RW
December 1, 2022

Kenya election: The influencers paid to push hashtags

Social media influencing is a growing and potentially lucrative business for young people in Kenya and increasingly, politicians come calling. 

“People will know that you are pushing a hashtag, everyone on Twitter knows you are being paid to do it for a politician,” says Nick, a freelance writer and aspiring social media influencer from Nairobi.

“But politicians wouldn’t acknowledge publicly that they have paid an influencer to spread campaign messages. They try to make it look like they have nothing to do with it.”

With the fiercely contested presidential election on 9 August, many fear the system of paid-for influence can lead to manipulation and the spread of harmful narratives.

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