Popular social networking platform Facebook is partnering with Africa Check — an independent fact-checking organisation to tackle the spread of fake news in African languages.
In January 2019, the social media giant announced that it will be investing $300 million in local news globally. The investment is also to help the fight against the dissemination of fake news.
As a part of its Third-Party-Fact-Checking programme, a strategy that helps check the accuracy of news, the company is collaborating with Africa Check to scrutinise content in African languages on its platform.
“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 are committed to this,” Facebook’s Head of Public Policy in Africa, Kojo Boakye said in a statement.
For Nigeria, fake news will be dealt with using the major languages including Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa; Afrikaans, isiZulu, Setswana, Sotho, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele in South Africa; Swahili in Kenya and Wolof in Senegal.
In 2018, when the fact-checking program was first launched in Kenya, stories that were identified as fake were moved down in the news feed and tagged with warnings for users before posting or sharing which reduces the distribution of false information.