Facebook launches fact-checking in South Africa

Facebook announced it has partnered with Africa Check and AFP to launch its third-party fact-checking programme in South Africa.

The programme aims to reduce the spread of misinformation, while improving the quality of news that people find on its platform.

Facebook’s fact-checking programme relies on feedback from its community as one of many signals to alert fact-checking partners to potentially false stories on its platform.

The company said that local news 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 its News Feed, reducing distribution of the story.

“We’re committed to South Africa, and take our responsibility seriously in tackling the spread of false news, and helping to improve the quality of information people find on our platform,” said Facebook SADC Public Policy Manager Emilar Ghandi.

Facebook will show articles about a news story written by its third-party fact-checkers in Related Articles, immediately below the story in News Feed.

Users will also receive notifications if they try to share a story that has been determined to be false.

“We are pleased to partner with Africa Check and AFP to expand our fact-checking efforts into South Africa, joining the recently launched Kenya programme, with the aim of fighting the spread of misinformation via news articles, photos and videos,” said Facebook Strategic Partner Manager for Digital Partnerships Jocelyne Muhutu Remy.

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Facebook launches fact-checking in South Africa