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Fight against fake news, Facebook using more African languages



Facebook has announced more African languages will be covered in its effort to curb fake news.

The social media giant said the new language support is part of its third-party fact-checking program in partnership with Africa Check, an independent fact-checking organization.

A joint statement released by Africa Check and Facebook  said the number of languages covered by the fact-checking effort will expand by 10.

This will include South Africa’s Afrikaans; Swahili, widely spoken in Kenya; Nigeria’s Yoruba; and Wolof, native to Senegal.

The program, launched in 2018, helps to monitor the accuracy of news shared on Facebook.

Executive director of Africa Check, Noko Makgato,  says the expansion helps ensure that misinformation in languages other than English and French can be identified and tackled.

Makgato said the Africa Check team will review and rate video, text, and photo content that have been flagged as possibly containing fake news.

Stories identified as inaccurate will be shown lower in the social site’s news feed, reducing its distribution.

Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s head of public policy for Africa, says the social media giant will continue to invest in efforts to curb the spread of false news.