Facebook launches Arabic fact-checking initative

Social media giant announces partnership with AFP to reduce the spread of misinformation in Arabic
Facebook launches Arabic fact-checking initative
Facebook's fact-checking programme now covers content in 17 languages.
By Sam Bridge
Wed 06 Feb 2019 02:09 PM

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will be launching third-party fact-checking in Arabic, in partnership with Agence France-Presse (AFP) MENA.

This partnership will not only help fund the fact-checking work that AFP will do on Facebook, but help them in their efforts to combat false news off the platform as well, a statement said.

Facebook’s new Arabic fact-checking programme will begin to roll out this year with the aim to reduce the spread of misinformation, whilst improving the quality of news people find on its platform.

Arabic-speaking AFP fact-checkers will tap the additional expertise of local journalism bureaus across MENA to fact-check Arabic-language content on Facebook. They will follow a standard set of criteria when determining the veracity of stories.

The programme is in line with Facebook’s three-part framework to improve the quality and authenticity of stories in the news feed.

Nashwa Aly, Facebook's head of public policy for the Middle East and North Africa said: “We recognise the implications of false news on Facebook and we are committed to doing a better job to fight it.

“More than 181 million people use Facebook every month across the Middle East and North Africa, so this is a responsibility that we take very seriously, and we're excited to continue to build off of this in our fight against misinformation on our platform.”

Facebook's fact-checking programme now covers content in 17 languages.

"We are delighted to extend our fact-checking project with Facebook into the Middle East and beyond. Information verification is at the heart of AFP’s mission and its expertise and is something that our clients benefit from daily in this era of fake news and disinformation,” said Phil Chetwynd, AFP Global news director.

Facebook started the third-party fact-checking programme in December 2016 and has grown to include 35 partners including AFP.

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