Facebook moves to enhance third-party fact-checking in Kenya

Monday, October 28th, 2019 00:00 |

Rawlings Otini

Facebook users in Kenya and the larger East Africa are set for much tighter scrutiny as the social media giant moves to tighten its third-party fact-checking.

Facebook is currently hosting a workshop in Nairobi to help it update its content policy especially in relation to local cultures and laws.

“It is a coordinated cross-company effort to find and stop information operations — coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate — across our platforms,” Facebook said on its Facebook newsroom platform.

Facebook will be targeting issues such as what is considered hate speech in Kenya, cultural nuances and language that is considered inappropriate.

“We will engage our stakeholders, for instance on hate speech, we are engaging with lawyers and other experts about their views on existing local policies,” Facebook’s public policy associate manager Fazdai Madzingira told CNBC.

Hire reviewers

The company recently announced the planned expansion of its third-party fact checking programme to 10 more African countries.

Facebook has made headlines for the backlash they received for allowing political adverts that contain false claims to run on their platform.

The social media group seeks to hire more than 100 content reviewers in Nairobi. Facebook has seven million subscribers in Kenya, six million in Tanzania, Uganda (two million) and Nigeria 17 million. 

The centre is expected to support a number of languages, including Somali, Oromo, Swahili and Hausa. The company in its behaviour policy update said it will continue looking for groups and pages working to mislead people about who they are and what they’re doing. 

The company settled on Nairobi due to good infrastructure, the political and economic environment, and a large multilingual workforce with language and cultural expertise.

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