Supporting Elections Across Africa
Supporting elections across Africa continues to be a priority and we’ve dedicated unprecedented resources both locally and globally, with protecting election integrity at the center of this work. This update provides an overview of our ongoing work in reducing misinformation, removing voter suppression, preventing election interference, supporting civic engagement and increasing transparency in political advertising.
Combating Misinformation and False News
We’re working hard to fight the spread of misinformation on our services because we know that people want to see accurate information on Facebook and Instagram – and so do we. Over the past year we’ve expanded our work with independent fact-checking organisations across Africa to review and rate the accuracy of content shared on Facebook and Instagram. We work with organisations such as Dubawa, Africa Check, Pesa Check, AFP, Congo Check and France 24 – all of which are certified by the International Fact Checking Network.
Boosting Digital Literacy and Helping People Spot False News
That’s why we continue to run campaigns focused on providing educational tips on how to spot false news like ‘Three Questions To Help Stamp Out False News.’ These campaigns are available in local languages and run across both local radio and on Facebook. We are also continuing to run education ads focused on hate speech, that explain how it’s defined and actions people can take.
Making Political Ads More Transparent
We believe political discussion and debate should be transparent to every voter, which is why over the past few years we’ve introduced tools that provide more information about political ads on Facebook and Instagram. Since launching our political ads transparency tool in 2019, we’ve expanded this to cover a number of countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. We encourage anybody who wants to run ads about elections or politics to go through a verification process to confirm their identity and that they live in the country they are targeting. These changes mean that political advertising on Facebook and Instagram is now more transparent than other forms of election campaigning such as billboards, newspaper ads, direct mail, leaflets or targeted emails.
Promoting Civic Engagement
Helping to build informed and civically engaged communities is central to our work around elections. For example, in countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast and Guinea we’ve engaged in conversations with civic stakeholders such as the Electoral Commissions and civil society organisations. Focusing on how Facebook can be a positive tool for civic engagement and the steps they can take to stay safe while using our platforms. We’ve also conducted virtual trainings on ads enforcement and civic engagement with political parties in these same countries.
Keeping People Safe
We’ve hired more systems engineers, security experts and content reviewers, including native language speakers in Swahili, Amharic, Zulu, Somali, Oromo and Hausa, to name a few examples. We’ve also pioneered the use of artificial intelligence to find and remove harmful content more quickly. Between April and June of this year we removed over 15 million pieces of graphic and violent content globally, detecting over 99% proactively, before anyone had to report it.
Our efforts to keep people safe also include using different tools to reduce harmful content from certain accounts and as hate speech evolves.
Our Partnerships with NGOs and Civil Society
Alongside our local experts on the continent, we continue to work on-the-ground with NGOs and civil society across many African countries to enable us to better understand challenges and how we can tackle them more effectively. This work continues to be instrumental, with local partners giving us feedback that we incorporate into our policies and programs.
Oct 30, 2020 at 15:22