Africa Check, Facebook expand third-party checking for local languages

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JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 15 (Xinhua/GNA) – Africa’s first independent fact-checking organization, Africa Check has announced their partnership with Facebook in adding other languages to fact check news on the social media and reduce the spread of misinformation.

The program was initially launched in 2018 across Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon to allow users to check if the information shared is true or fake.

“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, ” said Kojo Boakye, Facebook head of Public Policy, Africa.

The program now covers languages as Yoruba and Igbo in Nigeria, Swahili in Kenya, Wolof in Senegal, while adding Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Sotho, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele in South Africa. 

This would allow some Facebook users to verify some of the news determinate in various languages.

Boakye said that the third party fact checking program will help to improve the quality of information people see on Facebook.

Noko Makgato, the executive director of Africa Check, said they are happy to be part of the program. 

Makgato said, “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.”