Facebook has rolled out an educational tool in Kenya to help people spot fake news as presidential elections draw near. This comes after there have been several complaints of misinformation and fake news being spread on Facebook and WhatsApp in the lead up to Kenya’s Presidential elections set to take place on 8 August 2017.
The tool will be available at the top of a Facebook user’s News Feed, once they click on the tool the user will see more information and resources in the Facebook Help Center, including tips such as checking the web address, investigating the source and looking for other reports on the topic. It will be available in both Swahili and English.
Facebook currently has approximately 7 million monthly active users (MAUs) in Kenya who will now have access to this tool for the next few days before the elections.
“We take fighting fake news issues seriously, because people want to see accurate information on Facebook. We’ve developed a three-part strategy to stop the spread of misinformation: disrupting the economic incentives for the spammers who attempt to distribute false news, building new products, and helping people better identify false news and report it,” said Ebele Okobi, Director of Policy at Facebook Africa.
Earlier in 2017 the social media platform had announced its efforts in curbing misinformation and false news. These include reducing financial incentives for fake news publishers (through advertising), taking action against fake accounts, applying machine learning to help limit spam and reducing the posts people see that link to low-quality web pages.