Facebook adds Swahili to its Third-Party Fact-Checking programme

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Facebook has announced that it has added support for various African language as part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking programme. The new initiative is with partnership with Africa Check, an independent fact-checking organization.

The Third-Party Fact-Checking programme helps to assess the accuracy of news on Facebook, and aims to reduce the spread of misinformation.

The initiative was launched in 2018 in Africa in five countries that include South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon.

The African languages that it now supports include;

  • Nigeria, in Yoruba and Igbo, adding to Hausa which was already supported
  • Swahili in Kenya
  • Wolof in Senegal
  • Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Sotho, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele in South Africa

Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa, said: “We continue to make significant investments in our efforts to fight the spread of false news on our platform, whilst building supportive, safe, informed and inclusive communities. Our third-party fact-checking programme is just one of many ways we are doing this, and with the expansion of local language coverage, this will help in further improving the quality of information people see on Facebook. We know there is still more to do, and we’re committed to this.

Facebook’s fact-checking programme relies on feedback from the Facebook community, as one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.

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