Meta rolls out strategy to stem fake news during Kenyan elections


    Ahead of Kenya’s general elections in August, Meta Platforms has announced its plans for preventing fake news and its dangerous repercussions in that country.

    Meta has been working on a dedicated Kenyan Elections Operation Centre which has rolled out policies and products to limit or completely remove fake news across its various platforms—Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

    It has also made ad-transparency tools that show the faces behind political ads sponsored on Facebook and Instagram. The company will also release an “I Voted” sticker on Instagram and a Facebook notification on election day to remind people in the country that it’s time to vote.

    Additionally, Meta has teamed up with third-party fact-checkers in Kenya: AFP, PesaCheck, and Africa Check to fact-check posts that make claims of any kind about the elections.

    Meta is also partnering separately with iEARN Kenya and UNESCO to raise awareness about online safety, privacy, and the abuse of digital tools to spread harmful content. It has also started a radio campaign in Luo, Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Swahili, and English to educate listeners on how to spot hate speech and misinformation, and what actions to take.

    This news comes after the video-sharing app TikTok announced an in-app feature called “Elections Hub” to spread accurate information about the Kenyan elections.

    In 2016, UK political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica, harvested the data of more than 50 million Facebook users to support Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign. The same company ran the campaigns of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in the highly contested 2013 and 2017 Kenyan elections.

    It appears that Meta wants to be more proactive in its address of misinformation on its platforms to prevent the kind of manipulations that Cambridge Analytica inflicted on voters.


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