Facebook Holds Exhibition against Fake News


Nosa Alekhuogie

As part of its continued commitment to tackling false news, fake accounts and hate speech, as well as improving the transparency of advertising on its platform, Facebook, recently held an election Integrity Exhibition for media, civil society partners and other stakeholders in Nigeria.

According to Facebook, the exhibition, which held in Lagos, was focused on how to deal with bad actors, tackle fake accounts, improve the transparency of advertising and pages, and reduce the distribution of false news in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.

Taking the media through the tour, Facebook’s Politics and Government Outreach Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Tom Miller, explained that the company would continue to take the integrity of elections seriously, and would continue to explore multiple measures and partnerships to ensure that the integrity of the Nigerian Elections is protected.

He said: “The teams across the company are committed to ensuring Facebook remains a safe platform for all. Our goal is to continue launching measures to ensure the integrity and safety of the Nigerian Elections, so that we can continue to drive positive social and economic impact across sub-Saharan Africa, drive innovation by supporting Africa’s tech entrepreneurship ecosystem and also train communities and the next generation of leaders to better understand and utilise the power of digital tools for civic engagement.”

Also speaking about Facebook’s commitment to fighting the spread of false news and hate speech on the platform, Public Policy Lead for Anglophone West Africa, Akua Gyekye, explained that Facebook’s mission was to give people the power to build communities and bring the world closer together.

“Our mission in Nigeria is not different, we understand the importance of being local in a global world and want to have a positive long-term impact.

“In addition, we want to support people who want to be more civically engaged and connect with issues they care about, not just on election day, but every day.

“We do this through a variety of activities, such as partnering civil society organisations focused on increasing voter education, building tailored civic engagement tools, which are relevant for Nigeria, and by raising digital literacy by sharing tips on how to spot false news with our community.”

Gyekye said Facebook’s policy would remain impartial, adding that the platform allows all political ideas to be expressed as long as they are within Facebook’s Community Standards.

Stressing the need for people to be vigilant, especially during the elections as well as to report any content that they feel might be in contravention of Facebook’s Community Standards, she added: “We encourage our community to flag content to us that they don’t think should be on the platform whether it’s a picture, a written post, or a video and reporting it is completely anonymous and confidential. “This allows our community operations team to review the content and remove anything that’s violating our community standards.”