TechInAfrica – A technology organization, Andela has recently held an event called “Fighting Fake News” Hackathon that took place in Kenya. The event was supported by BBC News with an intention to address issues caused by the spread of fake news on the continent.
The theme of the event was ‘Technology for the public good: countering fake news online’, coming from a spirit to overcome many issues affected by false news. Through the event, they want to show how technology can be useful to counter fake news we often find online. It started with panels of experts providing contextual examples on how it is crucial to spread fake news through some approaches, like technology as an example.
“There are many forms of misinformation, but we define fake news as the deliberate spread of false information for political or commercial gain,” said Jackie Christie, the BBC Head of Partnerships.“Trust underlines everything that we do. When trust is undermined, we’re in trouble as a society. We’re using media literacy to educate both the young and old in fighting fake news.”
There were 16 teams participated on the program event and only three of them selected as the finalists. These three finalists were selected for their solutions to combat fake news using Artificial Intelligence (AI), image manipulation detection techniques, and crowd-sourcing in order to check the fact and dismiss fake news in form of text, videos, as well as photos.
The three finalists are Thibitisha, iCODEAI, and SeeTheLight. They were invited to deliver their ideas at the BBC event called Beyond Fake News Conference that took place in Nairobi. They were offered a six-month mentorship program by Safaricom’s Innovation Lab.
“We began the Safaricom Alpha Innovation Hub to drive our purpose of transforming lives by exploring innovations and partnerships that create additional value for our customers. Our collaboration with Andela seeks to harness the power of technology for social good to empower people in making informed decisions,” said Joseph Ogutu, the Chief Special Projects Officer of Safaricom.
“I enjoyed the ideation and the designing phases during the Andela Hackathon as I had an opportunity to air my ideas, and we could argue out our differences and later converge to one idea. Getting selected as one of the final teams and being able to receive mentorship through Alpha is really a humbling opportunity,” said Wanjiru Catherine, one of SeeTheLight team members.