Facebook has expanded its local language coverage in Africa, as part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking Programme, which it uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review
Social media giant launched the local language support for several African languages in 2018 to assess the accuracy of news on Facebook and aims to reduce the spread of misinformation. It relies on feedback from the Facebook community.
It was launched across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon. This time, it has partnered with Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation, to expand its local language coverage the continent.
The expansion goes to Nigeria, in Yoruba and Igbo and Hausa, which was already supported; Swahili in Kenya; Wolof in Senegal; Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Sotho, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele in South Africa
“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.
He added that Facebook is thrilled to be expanding the arsenal of the languages it presently covers, emphasizing that in countries as linguistically diverse as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Senegal, fact-checking in local languages is vital.