Facebook partners PesaCheck for fact-checking program in Kenya

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Facebook has confirmed that PesaCheck will join the list of organisations that will help in fact-checking articles on the social network in Kenya.

The program is expected to curb the spread of misinformation, commonly known as fake news, and improve the quality of news received.

PesaCheck comes in as the third organisation that will partner Facebook  on fact-checking,  after AfricaCheck and AFP.

“This partnership with Facebook will see us checking local stories, as well as multimedia content such as photos and videos,” Eric Mugendi, PesaCheck’s Managing Editor commented. “It gives us an opportunity to fight misinformation in new and innovative ways, lowering the circulation of fake news and ensuring that the information people consume on Facebook is legitimate.”

Third-party fact checkers work with Facebook by reviewing how true the articles shared on the platform are. “Part of our strategy is partnering with third-party fact checkers to review and rate the accuracy of articles and posts on Facebook,” Tessa Lyons, Facebook Product manager said.

There is a code of conduct followed by the third party checkers while doing this important piece of work. “These fact checkers are independent and certified through the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network,” Tessa Lyons added. “When these organizations rate as false, we rank these stories significantly lower in the News Feed. On average, this cuts future views by more than 80%. We use the information from fact-checkers to improve our technology so we can identify more potential false news faster in the future.”

PesaCheck can help in verifying stories being shared on the platform as being true or false so that the spread of fake news among Kenyans on Facebook can be minimised.

PesaCheck was established in 2016 with the aim of examining and explaining budgetary and public finance issues to citizens. They have since grown to include election fact-checking as well as claims to how governments are delivering on public services.

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