Facebook expands third-party fact-checking programme to 10 countries in Africa

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Facebook has expended its third-party fact-checking program to 10 African countries including: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal. The expansion is in partnership with Agence France-Presse (AFP), the France 24 Observers, Pesa Check and Dubawa.

The fact checking programme forms part of the company’s work in helping assess the accuracy and quality of news people find on Facebook, while reducing the spread of misinformation on its platform. It works with a network of fact-checking organizations, certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network.

The third-party fact-checking will now be 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 France 24 Observers and AFP, Guinea Conakry through France 24 Observers, and Ghana through Dubawa.

Feedback from the Facebook community is 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 our fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.

Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa, 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. Taking steps to help tackle false news on Facebook is a responsibility we take seriously, we know misinformation is a problem, and these are important steps in continuing to address this issue. 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.”

When third-party fact-checkers fact-check a news story, Facebook will show these in Related Articles immediately below the story in News Feed. Page Admins and people on Facebook will also receive notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false, empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.

The Third-Party Fact-Checking programme was launched in 2018 in Africa in five countries that include South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon. Facebook recently announced that it has added support for various African languages as part of the programme. The languages include Swahili, Yorube, Igbo, Wolof, Afrikaans, and Zulu.

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