Facebook to expand language coverage in war on fake news

Last year, Facebook embarked on a new investment to boost safety and security on its platform. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Social media giant Facebook is set to increase local language coverage across Africa as it seeks to expand its efforts to tame fake news proliferation on its platform globally.

Facebook’s third party fact-checking partner Africa Check will begin scheming through content posted in a varied native African languages that includes Nigeria’s Hausa, in addition to Yoruba and Igbo, Kiswahili, Senegal’s Wolof and South Africa’s Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Sotho, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele.

"We're thrilled to be expanding the arsenal of the languages we cover in our work on Facebook's third-party fact-checking programme. In countries as linguistically diverse as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Senegal, fact-checking in local languages is vital,” Executive Director of Africa Check, Noko Makgato.

“Not only does it let us fact-check more content on Facebook, it also means we'll be reaching more people across Africa with verified, credible information."

Last year, Facebook embarked on a new investment that is part of the firm’s commitment to boosting safety and security on its platform.


Earlier in the year it launched Content Review Centre in Nairobi, the first such office the tech giant is setting up in sub-Saharan Africa as it looks to increase language support for its users.

“Our third-party fact-checking programme is just one of many ways we are doing this, and with the expansion of local language coverage, this will help in further improving the quality of information people see on Facebook. We know there is still more to do, and we’re committed to this,” said Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa Kojo Boakye.