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Facebook extends fact-checking programme to 10 new African states

The programme will be available in Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia and Burkina Faso, among others, in partnership with AFP.

file: The programme will be available in Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia and Burkina Faso in partnership with AFP. Picture: Pixabay.com.

PRAIS - Facebook on Tuesday announced the expansion of its third-party fact-checking programme to 10 new African countries in partnership with Agence France-Presse and other media.

The programme will be available in Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia and Burkina Faso in partnership with AFP; in Uganda and Tanzania with Pesa Check and AFP; in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast with France 24 and AFP and in Guinea and Ghana in partnership with Nigerian fact-checking platform Dubawa.

"The expansion of third-party fact-checking to now cover 15 countries in a little over a year shows first-hand our commitment and dedication to the continent, alongside our recent local language expansion as part of this programme," said Kojo Boakye, Facebook head of public policy, Africa.

"Taking steps to help tackle false news on Facebook is a responsibility we take seriously, we know misinformation is a problem, and these are important steps in continuing to address this issue.

"We know that third-party fact-checking alone is not the solution, it is one of many initiatives and programmes we are investing in to help to improve the quality of information people see on Facebook."

"AFP is delighted to be expanding its fact-checking project with Facebook. We are known for the high quality of our journalism from across Africa and we will be leveraging our unparalleled network of bureaus and journalists on the continent to combat misinformation," said AFP Global News Director Phil Chetwynd.

AFP has fact-checkers in nearly 30 countries, working in nine languages.

Eric Mugendi, managing director of Pesa Check, which will provide fact-checking services in Swahili and English, said: "Social networks like Facebook haven't just changed how Africans consume the news ... They shape our perceptions of the world.

"This project helps us dramatically expand our fact-checking to debunk claims that could cause real-world harm."

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