Facebook bolsters to reduce fake news before 2019 elections

Facebook Jornalism Project
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Facebook says they have a big role to play in fighting misinformation and fake news on their platform.

Its Head of News partnerships in Europe, Middle-East and Africa, Nick Wrenn, says they are vigilant in combating these tendencies because they are aware of the risks brought on by disinformation and do not want people to use Facebook to manipulate elections.

In the last 18 months Facebook has strengthened its human resources from a team of around 14 000 people to 30 000, solely working on content verification, Wrenn explained.

The company has put in place algorithms that filter fake news and misinformation, sending such articles to the bottom of the news feeds.

Watch Nick Wrenn’s interview below:

Partnership with African fact checking body

In late 2018, Facebook partnered with Africa Check to help bolster their efforts on reducing false news and propaganda in Africa. Currently the partnership operates in four countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal and Kenya.

Africa Check acting deputy editor, Kate Wilkinson says they are now monitoring their third election in South Africa. She has warned news consumers to be cautious during the election period and encouraged the public to verify information distributed by politicians.

WATCH Kate Wilkinson’s interview below:

Social media experts agree that disinformation can pose a threat in the upcoming elections.

The Electoral Commission (IEC) has partnered with industry players like Facebook, Twitter and Media Monitoring Africa to reduce the distribution of fake news on these platforms.