Africa: Facebook Expands Local Language Coverage in Africa to Tame Fake News

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(file photo).
14 August 2019

Nairobi — Facebook has added new local language support for several African languages including Kiswahili, as part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking program.

The giant tech company has partnered with Africa Check in the project, with the aim of helping to assess the accuracy of news on Facebook, as well as reducing the spread of misinformation.

Apart Kiswahili, local languages that will be covered include Nigeria's Yoruba and Igbo, Senegal's Wolof and South Africa's Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana and Sotho among other languages.

Facebook's Head of Public Policy, Africa Kojo Boakye says the company continues to fight the spread of false news on its platform, whilst building supportive, safe, informed and inclusive communities.

"Our third-party fact-checking program 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," Boakye said.

In the last four years, the rise of fake news across Facebook and other social media has quickly become a global problem, with tech companies, including Facebook and Twitter, rolling out changes to attempt to thwart the trend.

Towards the end of 2016, Facebook was accused of abdicating its responsibility and helping the election of American President Donald Trump.

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