Facebook expands its third-party fact-checking programme in Africa

Thursday October 10 2019

 

By Gadiosa Lamtey @gadiosa2 glamtey@natioonmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Facebook has launched its third-party fact-checking programme in Sub Saharan Africa which intends to help assess the accuracy and quality of news people find on Facebook, whilst reducing the spread of misinformation on its platform.

The company has said that they have now expanded their fact checking to more countries across Sub Saharan Africa. Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal, Facebook are joined the ad make additional 15 African countries.

Fact-checking program is now available in Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia and Burkina Faso through AFP, Uganda and Tanzania through both Pesa check and AFP, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire through the France 24 Observers and AFP, Guinea Conakry through the France 24 Observers, and Ghana through Dubawa.

In a statement released on Thursday, October 9,  by Facebook East African communication manager Ms Janet Kemboi said that fact checking is an important exercise as it report a story that they deem as false and such signals are raised to fact checkers for review.

 If the story is identified as being false, Facebook will show it lower in the news feed, significantly reducing its distribution.

Also, page administrators  will receive notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that has been determined to be false.

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For his part Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa,  Kojo Boakye, said  “The expansion of third-party fact-checking to now cover 15 countries in a little over a year shows firsthand our commitment and dedication to the continent, alongside our recent local language expansion as part of this programme,”.

“We know that third-party fact-checking alone is not the solution, it is one of many initiatives and programmes we are investing in to help to improve the quality of information people see on Facebook. While we've made great progress, we will keep investing to ensure Facebook remains a place for all ideas, but not for the spread of false news,” he said
AFP Global News Director Phil Chetwynd said will providing fact-checking in English and French across eight countries.

“AFP is delighted to be expanding its fact-checking project with Facebook. We are known for the high quality of our journalism from across Africa and we will be leveraging our unparalleled network of bureaus and journalists on the continent to combat misinformation.” He said.