Facebook partners Nigerian firm to intensify fight against fake news




By Florence Onuegbu
Facebook has partnered Dubawa, a Nigerian Online platform, to intensify the fight against fake information in the country.

Adaora Ikenze, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy for West and Central Africa said on Monday that the partnership came following the recent launch of Facebook’s Third-Party Fact-Checking programme.

The Third-Party programme is to help assess the accuracy of news and reduce the spread of misinformation.

Dubawa is an online platform which provides factual information to its readers, so they can make informed decisions, whether political, economic, security or mainstream decisions, based on the truth.

Ikenze said that Facebook’s fact-checking programme, which also improved the quality of news people found on its platform, relied on feedback from the Facebook community, as one of many signals it used to raise potentially-false stories to fact-checkers for review.

She said that local articles would be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos.

According to her, if one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.

“This new partnership with Dubawa further highlights our commitment in tackling misinformation and false news across Nigeria and builds on the already important work that AFP and Africa Check have begun.

“We know that Third-Party Fact-Checking alone is not the solution. It is one of many initiatives and programmes we continue to invest in across the country to help to improve the quality of information people see on Facebook, ‘’ Ikenze said.

“With this new partnership, we aim to build on the work we already started in Nigeria.

“Nigeria is important to us and we are committed to taking our responsibility seriously in tackling the spread of false news,” she said in a statement.

Commenting on the partnership, Ebele Oputa, Project Officer and Editor, Dubawa, said that the danger of fake news, misinformation, disinformation, in whatever form, was ever more real and vivid in today’s world.

“In recent years, we have seen democracies all over the world, being threatened by the spread of false news.

“As a fact-checking organisation in Nigeria, we try as much as we can to fight this via our articles, tweets and trainings but we also understand the role that technology plays in getting the right information to the public.

“As such, our partnership with Facebook is very pivotal in ensuring that factual information gets to the people who earnestly needs it to make right decisions,” Oputa said. (NAN)

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