Facebook is partnering Agence France-Presse (AFP), the France 24 Observers, Pesa Check and Dubawa to curb the spread of fake news across Africa. This programme forms part of its work in helping assess the accuracy and quality of news people find on Facebook, whilst reducing the spread of misinformation on its platform.
Earlier, Facebook announced that it plans on expanding its Third-Party Fact-Checking programme to 10 additional African countries. 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 the France 24 Observers and AFP, Guinea Conakry through the France 24 Observers, and Ghana through Dubawa.
According to the company, local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of the fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.
“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,” says Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa.
“Taking steps to help tackle fake news on Facebook is a responsibility we take seriously, we know misinformation is a problem. 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.”