Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was forced to use its social media accounts to dispel rumours its chairman was was unwell on Sunday.
The post emanated from reports on social media that the IEBC head was admitted to Karen Hospital with a suspected heart attack throwing the Kenyan cyberspace into pandemonium.
#IEBC Chairman is well and focused.
— IEBC (@IEBCpage) August 3, 2013
The rumours were started on social networks and later spread by, among others, controversial blogger Robert Alai whose post on Friday got a dozen retweets.
Multiple reports indicate that IEBC boss Isaack Hassan has been admitted to Karen Hospital
— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) August 2, 2013
Later the rumour deteriorated to more negative news with some posts indicating that the IEBC boss was being flown out of the country for further treatment.
BREAKING NEWS: IEBC Chair Isaak Hassan is being flown out of the country for specialized treatment anytime this afternoon.
— BOREZ Chelsean (@kayyobra) August 4, 2013
The misuse is likely to be used by those pushing for its regulation, despite protests from media freedom activists.