Facebook Expands its Fact-checking Program to Ethiopia

ADDIS ABEBA – Facebook, in partnership with Pesa Check, has announced today the expansion of its third-party fact-checking program to cover Ethiopia, Burundi and Mali.

The program is part of its ongoing work in helping assess the accuracy and quality of news people find on the platform, Facebook has said. It also aims to reduce the spread of misinformation on its platform.

“Fighting the spread of false news on Facebook is a responsibility that we take seriously,” said Kojo Boakye, Facebook Public Policy Director in Africa.

“We are pleased that our third-party fact-checking program now covers Ethiopia, Burundi and Mali,” Boakye added.

The US company would work with Pesa Check, part of a network of fact-checking organizations certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network.

Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos, with feedback from the Facebook community also forming one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review, the company said.

Once Pesa Check fact-checks a news story, this will be shown in Related Articles immediately below the story in News Feed.

Page Admins and people on Facebook will also receive notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false, empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.

“Pesa Check is excited to be expanding its fact-checking partnership with Facebook,” Eric Mugendi, Managing Editor from Pesa Check.

“So far from our work in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, we are seeing real positive results in our interactions with publishers and the public,” Mugendi said. “We are optimistic that we will get the same feedback in Ethiopia, Burundi and Mali.

In October last year, Facebook announced the expansion of its third-party fact-checking program to cover 3 more countries across Sub-Saharan Africa in addition to the 5 countries already supported.

Today’s expansion brings the total to 18 countries in Sub-saharan Africa where the program has been deployed.

[Image: File/Getty Images] 

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