Facebook introduces new measures to combat fake news in South Africa

Facebook has launched a third-party fact-checking programme to help assess the accuracy of news in South Africa, and reduce the spread of misinformation.

This will be achieved by working with two partners: Africa Check – Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation – and AFP – a well-respected news organisation – which are both part of a global network of fact-checking organisations, certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network.

The fact-checking programme will rely on feedback from the Facebook community as one of many signals Facebook will use to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review.

Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos.

“If one of our fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution,” the social media platform said.

Once a fact-checker rates a piece of content as false, Facebook said it is able to reduce its future views by an average of 80%, helping to curb economic incentives and reduce its spread.

When third-party fact-checkers write articles about a news story, Facebook will show these 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.

Read: How journalists use social media – and the impact of fake news

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Facebook introduces new measures to combat fake news in South Africa