Meta, the parent company for WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, has unveiled its plans to combat misinformation and hate speech ahead of 2023 general elections. Adaora Ikenze, Meta’s Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa, made this known during a media roundtable event in Lagos organised to share the company’s election integrity efforts. She said that Meta would be taking aggressive steps to fight the spread of misinformation on its services in Nigeria.” We know it is important for people to see accurate information on Facebook and Instagram,” she said. Ikenze said that Meta would be removing misinformation which could lead to imminent violence or physical harm, adding that it would be working with its fact-checking partners AFP, Africa Check and Dubawa. She said fact- checking would review and rate potentially false content on the platforms, label it, and place it lower in the feed, so that fewer people could see it. “To further educate Nigerians on how to spot false news and the actions to take, we are partnering with local radio stations to create ‘#NoFalseNews’ radio dramas in English and Pidgin. “Meta would also be executing a WhatsApp awareness campaign, #YouSaid in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Pidgin to educate users to verify information before sharing and running online ads on Facebook. “Meta’s approach has also been informed by conversations with human rights groups, NGOs, local civil society organisations, regional experts and local election authorities – to help ensure the safety of people using Meta’s family of apps,” she said.
Ikenze noted that the team included individuals with global expertise in misinformation, hate speech, elections and disinformation She said, “These teams are working hard to prevent any abuse of our services before, during and after Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.” “Using lessons from the past including input from experts and policymakers across the national spectrum, we have made substantial investments in people and technology to reduce misinformation. “We intend to remove harmful content on our platforms, fight voter interference and promote civic engagement during the elections.” NAN

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