Facebook Extends Fact-Checking Program To 10 More African Countries

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Facebook African languages fact-checking
Facebook has increased the number of countries where its third-party fact-checking service operates to 15 in sub-Saharan Africa. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose on May 1, 2018. AP Photo – Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

Facebook has expanded third-party fact-checking services to 15 African countries in an effort to fight fake news, according to ITNewsAfrica.

In 2018, Facebook partnered with Africa Check, the first independent fact-checking organization on the continent, to begin reviewing content in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon

The newly expanded fact-checking effort is made possible through partnerships with Facebook and respected media firms.

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Facebook’s third-party fact-checking services are now available in the following countries in partnership with these media companies:

  • Ethiopia – AFP
  • Zambia – AFP
  • Somalia – AFP
  • Burkina Faso – AFP
  • Uganda – Pesa Check
  • Tanzania – Pesa Check and AFP
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo – France 24 Observers and AFP
  • Cote d’Ivoire – France 24 Observers and AFP
  • Guinea – France 24 Observers
  • Ghana – Dubawa

Facebook says that local posts and articles will be fact-checked and photos and videos verified.

In August, Facebook added 10 African languages to its third-party fact-checking program, according to a statement from the company.

In addition to English, Facebook says it will now review African content in Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo in Nigeria, Swahili in Kenya, Wolof in Senegal, and Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Sotho, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele in South Africa, TheCitizen reports.

Fact-checking, and then what?

While Facebook publicizes its efforts to control fake news and misinformation, the policy of the social media giant is to limit the exposure of false news posts rather than to remove them altogether.

Facebook relies on feedback and reporting from users to flag content that should be reviewed.

If one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in the news feed, which it says “significantly reduces its distribution.” 

Facebook says that it allows people to post fake news content as a form of expression, but says it will not show that content at the top of the news feed, according to BBC.

The social media firm will only delete content if it is deemed to violate Facebook’s rules against graphic violence or nudity.