Facebook has confirmed that PesaCheck will join the list of organizations that will help in fact checking articles on the platform in Kenya.
PesaCheck is now the third organization, after AfricaCheck and the media organization AFP that will partner with Facebook.
“This partnership with Facebook will see us checking local stories, as well as multimedia content such as photos and videos,” Eric Mugendi, PesaCheck’s managing editor commented. “It gives us an opportunity to fight misinformation in new and innovative ways, lowering the circulation of fake news and ensuring that that the information people consume on Facebook is legitimate.”
PesaCheck was established rather recently (2016) with the aim of examining and explaining budgetary and public finance issues to citizens. However, they have since grown to include election fact checking as well as claims to how governments are delivering on public services.
Third party fact checkers work with Facebook by reviewing how true the articles shared on the platform are. “Part of our strategy is partnering with third party fact checkers to review and rate the accuracy of articles and posts on Facebook,” Tessa Lyons, Facebook Product manager said.
There is a code of conduct followed by the third party checkers while doing this important piece of work. “These fact checkers are independent and certified through the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network,” Tessa Lyons added. “When these organizations rate as false, we rank these stories significantly lower in the News Feed. On average, this cuts future views by more than 80%. We use the information from fact-checkers to improve our technology so we can identify more potential false news faster in the future.”
The addition of PesaCheck to the company of third party checkers is great for the platform in general. This is a local organization that can greatly help in verifying stories being shared on the platform as being true or false so that we can minimize greatly the spread of fake news among Kenyans on Facebook.