Meta takes action against misinformation ahead of South Africa elections

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As part of its effort to foster a sane information ecosystem, Meta has taken steps to combat misinformation during South Africa’s election.

The tech company made this known in a statement. It noted the plan to launch an Elections Operations Centre specifically for South Africa as election day draws near. This centre will be tasked with real-time threat detection across all the company’s apps and technologies.

Meta’s Director of Public Policy, Sub-Saharan Africa, Balkissa Idé Siddo, highlighted that the company removes any content across all platforms that could incite immediate violence or physical harm that aims to stifle voting.

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“We remove the most serious kinds of misinformation from Facebook, Instagram and Threads, such as content that could contribute to imminent violence or physical harm, or that is intended to suppress voting.

For content that doesn’t violate these particular policies, we work with independent fact-checking organisations who review and rate content, including if it was created or edited by digital tools such as AI. When content is debunked by these fact checkers, we attach warning labels to the content and reduce its distribution in Feed so people are less likely to see it.” Siddo said

The statement further noted that Meta would before the elections, make it easier for it’s fact-checking partners in South Africa to find and assess content pertaining to the elections while employing keyword detection to compile it all in one location to make it easier to find.

Read Also : Meta announces tool to identify, label AI-generated images ahead of global elections

It also noted that their partners are also being onboarded to the new research tool, Meta Content Library, that has a powerful search capability to support them in their work.

In conclusion, Meta noted that it has signed the “Voluntary Framework of Cooperation to Address Disinformation in the 2024 National and Provincial Elections in South Africa” – an agreement to collaborate with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and other industry partners, where possible, to mitigate the risks associated with elections.

 

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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