Move over Ipsos, there is a new commander in town. His name? George Waweru.
George is no ordinary Joe; he is the brain behind Telegram poll bots that are revolutionizing the polling system in Kenya.
Specifically, these bots will give you real time information about how your preferred political candidate is faring.
In short, these bots deliver similar information like major poll organizations such as Ipsos.
But here’s the deal:
The bots deliver real time information without the hustle of having to travel to Emuhaya, Kibiingoti, Siakago, or other areas across the country. How cool is that?
We are therefore talking about an effective and convenient polling system.
First Things First, Exactly What is a Bot?
Simply put, a bot is a software that runs automated tasks over the internet.
They have been labeled the “worker bees of the internet”
Bots are everywhere and it is possible that you have interacted with them severally. Probably as soon as the last online interaction you had.
In case you are yawning over this, we are talking 48 million bots on twitter, 100,000 on Facebook Messenger and 5,000 on Telegram. Don’t even get me started on how many bots the internet houses!
Some bots are used for malicious purposes while some are used for the common good.
George Waweru has chosen to leverage the useful Telegram bots to step into a market segment that has long been dominated by traditional polling systems.
Why Develop Telegram Poll Bots?
George says that since this is an electioneering period, it is the apt time to showcase election polling Telegram bots and to also create awareness about these bots and their uses.
The developer says that he hopes to introduce a new way of doing things into the polling system: polling using telegram bots.
He says that these bots present an effective way of conducting credible polls while saving on resources involved when it comes to face-to-face polling.
The idea has received a red carpet reception as thousands of Kenyans have already participated in the polls.
There are poll bots for every county in Kenya as well as some constituencies like Westlands, Starehe, and Makadara.
George has developed a total of 96 election polling bots.
Currently, the bots support polls for Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Women Representative, Member of Parliament (MP), and Member of County Assembly (MCA).
To access a list of all county and constituency bots, follow this link: https://www.myvote2017.com/index.php
That’s not all:
Apart from pool information, you also get to access the actual information of various candidates as filed through the IEBC. This includes their manifestos.
How do I participate in the Polls?
You will need to install Telegram on your phone first.
The process is completed with a few buttons.
Here are the steps:
1) First, head to the search bar and type the county name and then append 2017Bot at the end.
- For example, if you want to access Laikipia County Bot, type “Laikipia2017Bot”. The same case applies for constituency bots; the Starehe Constituency Bot can be accessed using “Starehe2017Bot”.
2) Next, tap on the Start button
3) A menu with all electoral position appears
4) Tap on any position option and you will be taken to a section with a list of aspirants contesting for the position
5) You have the option to participate in the poll or just view the poll results.
6) After participating in one category, you can “Continue” with the polling process by clicking on a different category
The results are presented in a simple graph making it easy for you to interpret the result.
Also, you can share the results on various social media platforms through the share buttons embedded on the chat bot.
Here is a screen shot of results for the Nairobi gubernatorial post:
Send a Peace Message
The Telegram poll bots also allow you to send a peace message.
Below is a sample peace message:
Wait…Do These Bots Observe Anonymity?
George assures that the identities of those who participate will remain anonymous.
The Telegram poll bots support anonymity as they do not associate users with their personal details such as phone numbers. The bots use Telegram username instead.
This aspect also increases chances that people will offer truthful information, unlike the one-on-one polls. There is always some sense of safety when things are done via a keyboard.
What Next for George?
George says that the journey does not end after August elections. There’s a bigger picture.
He, through his company goldwebafrica.com, hopes to expand the use of bots to carrying out sponsored opinion polls.
His target? Individuals, corporates, and governmental organizations.
George had definitely raised the bar. He deserves a pat on the back for the revolutionary invention.