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Facebook Partners with Africa Check and AFP Unleash the Third-Party Fact-Checking Program in Africa

TechInAfrica — Facebook has just launched its Third-Party Fact-Checking program in Kenya today. The launching of the program is supposed to assess the news accuracy in the region, reduce misinformation, as well as improve the quality of news on the Facebook platform.

Along with the program, Facebook will also partner with Africa Check—an Africa’s first independent fact-checking organization certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network.

The program works with the help of feedback from the Facebook community as a signal to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. The program will fact-check local articles the verification of both photos and videos. The articles will be shown lower in News Feed if they are found or identified as false stories by one of the fact-checking partners.

Africa check via africacheck.org/

The Public Policy Director of Facebook, Ebele Okobi states: “We recognize the potential impact of false news on our platform, and we recognize the role we play in limiting that impact. We believe that a multi-pronged approach is the best strategy, and a key solution is identifying and demoting false news. Once a fact-checker rates a piece of content as false, we’re able to reduce its future views by an average of 80%, helping to curb economic incentives and reduce its spread. These partnerships are just one of our many commitments across Africa to improve the quality of the information on the platform.”

If the third-party fact-checkers write articles about a news story, it will be automatically put in Related Articles immediately right below the story in News Feed. Furthermore, page admins and people on Facebook will get notified if they have shared stories identified as false in the past. This method helps to encourage people to decide what to read, trust, and share to their News Feed.

The Strategic Partner Manager, Media Partnerships of Facebook, Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy speaks about this third-party fact-checking program, “We’re pleased to partner with Africa Check and AFP to expand our fact-checking efforts into Africa, and specifically Kenya. Fighting the spread of misinformation via news articles, photos and videos will help to build a better-informed community” says Muhutu-Remy.

Also giving his comment on the Facebook’s fact-checking program, the Kenya Editor for Africa Check adds: “Given the background of false information and the outright misinformation that we keep seeing in Kenya, it is great that Facebook has recognized the problem and is partnering with Africa Check to offer fact-checking solutions on its platform. It is a great step towards entrenching honest public debate.”

The partnership between Facebook in Kenya and Africa Check excites the AFP Global News Director, Michèle Léridon.

”The different initiatives set up by AFP in the fight against disinformation testify to the Agency’s expertise and credibility in the verification of information at a time when the false news is proliferating.” Says Léridon.

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