“We continue to make significant investments in our efforts to fight the spread of false news on our platform, whilst 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’re committed to this.” Said Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa.
Facebook's fact-checking programme relies on feedback from the Facebook community, as 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 Facebook’s fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.
Noko Makgato, executive director of Africa Check, Africa's first independent fact-checking organization, expressed joy at the partnership.
"We're 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, it also means we'll be reaching more people across Africa with verified, credible information,” said Makgato.
Launched in 2018 across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon, Facebook has now added these local African languages on its database.
Nigeria’s Yoruba and Igbo now joins Hausa which was already supported.
Kenya’s national language, Kiswahili is now on Facebook’s language support.
Senegal’s Wolof is now on Facebook’s language support.
Zulu and a host of South Africa’s languages
South Africa’s Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Sotho, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele have now been added on Facebook language support.