FB adds AFP, Fact Watch to strengthen its fact-checking in Bangladesh

Staff Correspondent | Published: 15:53, May 24,2021 | Updated: 23:47, May 24,2021


Facebook on Monday announced the expansion of its third-party fact-checking programme with the addition of international partner Agence France-Presse and Bangladesh-based organisation Fact Watch as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation in Bangladesh.

AFP and Fact Watch join Boom, who has partnered with Facebook since 2020 when the programme was first introduced to Bangladesh, said a Facebook press release on Monday.

AFP and Fact Watch, which have been certified by the Poynter Institute’s non-partisan International Fact Checking Network, will review and rate the accuracy of Bangla and English stories on Facebook, including photos and videos in Bangladesh.

When third-party fact-checkers rate a story as false, altered or partly false, it will appear lower in news feed of Facebook users, significantly reducing its distribution on Facebook.

Instagram will also make it harder to find by filtering from explore and hashtag pages, and downranking it in feed, said the release.

Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetise and advertise removed.

In addition, the content across Facebook and Instagram that has been rated false or altered is prominently labelled so people can better decide what to read, trust and share, the facebook press release said.

Facebook’s fact-checking programme started in December 2016.

Today, the social media platform has over 80 partners fact-checking content in over 60 languages.

‘Expanding our fact-checking programme with new partners from AFP and Fact Watch, is an important step in our effort to reduce false news which requires the support of the broader community,’ said Facebook director of news partnership for Asia-Pacific Anjali Kapoor.

‘As part of our effort to build more informed communities, the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, the IFCN and our fact-checking partners will host a discussion on the importance of fact-checking during the pandemic,’ Kapoor said.

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