Social media giant Facebook has announced the expansion of its third-party fact-checking program to ten African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal.
In a statement on Tuesday, Facebook said the expansion was aimed at assessing the accuracy and quality of news on its platform while curbing the spread of misinformation.
“Working with a network of fact-checking organisations, certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network, 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,” the statement read.
The platform, launched in 2018, is already available in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal. The three-step process relies on feedback from users to flag potentially fake photos and articles to fact-checkers for review and verification. Once detected as false, Facebook will relegate the item on its timeline substantially limiting its circulation.
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. Feedback from users in 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. When third-party fact-checkers fact-check a news story, Facebook will show these in related stories 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.