August 9

Today’s election pushes Kenya up in Google ranks

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 04:53 | By
Google Kenya.
Google headquarters. Photo/Courtesy

Kenya is trending on Google, with the major clicks being on: “When is the election’, ‘when will the campaign end for the 2022 polls’, ‘when are the elections in Kenya’ and ‘who is in charge of a polling station’, respectively.

With the political heat felt in every nook and cranny of the country ahead of today’s General Election, Google has released its search trends— a publicly available tool that displays relative volume queries that people want to know about.

The trends also reveal what Kenyans and the world have been searching for between July 3 and August 1.

Other top questions on the elections include, ‘who will win the 2022 election in Kenya’, ‘how many days to the election in Kenya 2022’, ‘how long after the election is the president sworn in’, ‘when was the 2013 General Election held’, ‘why where the 2017 elections nullified’, and ‘how long does it take to swear in a new president?’

Trending candidate

According to the report by Google, the trends also show that Kenyans went online to keep tabs on political parties and their respective presidential candidates.

With only four presidential candidates out of the 55 aspirants getting cleared to bid for the presidency by the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) — including; David Mwaure Waihiga of Agano Party, William Ruto of Kenya Kwanza Alliance, Raila Odinga of Azimio la Umoja Coalition and George Wajackoyah of Roots Party — Waihiga emerged as the leading trending candidate.

This means there was a higher spike in searches compared with the others. Waihiga became more popular during his participation at the presidential debate, which was boycotted by his competitor, George Wajackoyah of Roots Party.

He is followed by William Ruto and Raila Odinga. (Trending searches are those with the highest amount of traffic over a specific period.)

Sharon Machira, Google&#39’s communications and public affairs manager, Kenya, pointed out that today’s poll is critical in Kenya&#39’s democracy. “It is good that people are collectively turning to Google Search for answers to their biggest questions about the elections,” she said.

Sharon added that in partnership with Reuters, Google will launch a Live Elections Results One-Box on August 9 at 2pm, a tool which will post presidential results as they trickle in from polling stations five minutes after they are announced by the IEBC and will enhance Kenyans’ experience on Google Search.

Results update

“The live elections update portal, which will be both in English and Kiswahili, will see results posted within five minutes of being announced by IEBC. A notification will then be sent forthwith to every user. The portal will also display party colours with respect to every candidates’ name and image, as well as the total counted vote of every presidential candidate,” she said.

Similarly, active during the electioneering period, is Google’s Harassment Manager Tool that enables users to detect comments mainly made on Twitter that are most likely to be toxic, and to mute or block perpetrators of harassment or hide harassing replies to their own tweets.

Kenyans, especially those vulnerable to online abuse such as journalists, activists, and politicians, will be able to review tweets based on hashtag, username, keyword or date.

This web app was built by Jigsaw, a unit within Google that explores threats to open societies and builds technology that inspires scalable solutions, in collaboration with Twitter.

To detect potentially harmful comments, it uses Jigsaw’s Perspective API, which taps machine learning to identify “toxic” language. Toxicity is defined as language that is rude, disrespectful or likely to make someone leave a conversation.

The July Search Trends questions on the election are: When is the Kenya election? And, when will the campaign period end for the 2022 election?

 New president

Other questions are: Who is in charge of a polling station? When will the campaign start for the 2022 election? How many days are there until the election in Kenya 2022? How long after the election is the president sworn in?  When was the 2013 General Election held?  Why were the 2017 elections nullified? How long does it take to swear in a new president?

Yet other questions on the election in the past month are:  Who will win the 2022 election in Kenya? Will Raila win the 2022 election? How many days are there to the election in Kenya? When is the election in Kenya?  Who is likely to be the president of Kenya in 2022?

Users also wanted to know when the campaign period will end for the 2022 election. Who is in charge of elections in a polling station?  When will the campaign start for the 2022 election? How long after the election is the president sworn in? When was the 2013 General Election held?

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