Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

Facebook, Africa Check partner to fight fake news, unveils Igbo, Yoruba languages

Leading social media platform, Facebook, has consummated partnership with Africa Check to add new popular African local languages including Igbo, Yoruba and Swahili to fortify its third-party fact-checking programme and fight fake news spread.

Introduced in 2018 across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroun, Facebook entered into the collaboration with the continent’s first independent fact-checking organisation to expand its local language coverage across Nigeria in Yoruba and Igbo in addition to Hausa; Swahili in Kenya; Wolof in Senegal and Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Sotho, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele in South Africa.

Explaining more midweek in Johannesburg, the commercial capital of South Africa, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Africa, Kojo Boakye, said: “We continue to make significant investments in our efforts to fight the spread of false news on our platform while building supportive, safe, informed and inclusive communities. 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.”

In his remarks Wednesday, the Executive Director of Africa Check, Noko Makgato, averred that “We are thrilled to be expanding the arsenal of the languages we cover in our work on Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme. In countries as linguistically diverse as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Senegal, fact-checking in local languages is vital. Not only does it let us fact-check more content on Facebook, but it also means we will be reaching more people across Africa with verified and credible information.”

Business Hilights gathered that Facebook’s fact-checking programme relies on feedback from its community, as one of many signals it uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review.

With the new policy, Facebook made it clear that henceforth, posted local articles would be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos possibly before being uploaded.