As part of the steps to stop the dissemination of fake news, Facebook has launched Yoruba and Igbo languages, making it officially three languages representing Nigeria’s major ethnic groups as Hausa had already been in existence on the platform.
In a statement, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa, Kojo Boakye, said that the addition of the native languages was part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking program which was launched in 2018 across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Cameroon.
According to Boakye, the new initiative was made possible via a collaboration with Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organization.
It intends to expand local language coverage to uphold the dissemination of accurate news on Facebook, and reduce the spread of misinformation.
Boakye assured that Facebook will continue to make significant investments to fight the spread of false news on the platform, whilst building supportive, safe, informed and inclusive communities.
“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”. Boakye said.
On his part, the Executive Director of Africa Check, Noko Makgato said that it is imperative for facts to be verified especially when it involves countries as linguistically diverse as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Senegal.