Facebook today has announced that they are launching third party fact checking in Kenya to help assess the accuracy of news being disseminated in its platform.
The company will be working with two third party partners as the fact checkers in this program. This includes Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact checking organization and AFP which is a well known and respected news organization. These organizations are both part of a global network of fact checking organizations that are certified by the International Fact Checking Network.
Facebook started doing fact checking to ensure that news distributed on its platform is accurate and does not lead to misinformation. They rely on feedback from people as one of the many signals used to raise potentially false stories which are then given to fact checkers for review.
Since they are now doing fact checking in Kenya, local stories will be fact checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If a story is found to be false by the fact checking partners, Facebook will show it lower in the News Feed which significantly reduces its distribution. Facebook’s Public Policy Director, Ebele Okobi says that if a public fact checker rates a piece of content as ‘false’, they are able to reduce its future views by an average of 80%, which is quite significant.
In this program, Facebook will show articles written by third party checkers under Related Articles which will be below the story. Also, Page Admins and people on Facebook will be notified if they tried sharing a story that has been determined to be false.
This is great news in the fight against the proliferation of fake news in the country, and we will see how well this will work.