Facebook will scrap advertisement rights for local brands and individuals who use the platform to spread false information.
“This means they will not be able to make money, place advertisements or do anything in relation to that specific content. Their platform will be demoted or permanently shut down.” Facebook strategic media partner for Sub-saharan Africa Jocelyn Muhutu said.
According to the Competition Authority 2017 annual report, at least 20 per cent of consumer protection cases arise from the communication sector in which the social media platform falls.
The Authority notes that the sector is used to spread consumer violation involving false and misleading representations on price, quality,existence of warranty,and promotion for product subscriptions.
The social media platform is working with Africa Fact Check and Pesa check to fact check the authenticity of articles, photos and videos published on its platform.
It has further partnered with 28 fact checkers in 17 countries in Africa to date.
Digital consultancy and research firm Nendo notes that there were at least 8.1 million Facebook users in Kenya as at July 31. This presenting a huge market for brands to communicate with information-hungry consumers.
Facebook Public and Content Policy associate for Africa Fadzai Madzingira said the firm will rely on signals from the community and machine learning to identify false claims.
Besides, the platform will track the 470 million links shared weekly across the globe through facebook to spot and flag off fake information.
“We can fact check any link. If you are a brand putting up an advertisement in form of an article and your claims are false, that can be fact-checked,” Madzingira said.
Once flagged, the false rating will be reduced by 80 per cent with only 20 per cent of your target audience able to see the post.
This will be made possible by reducing the visibility of the posts by pushing it down to the last posts in a users news feed.
At the moment, every Facebook user receives 1,500 new posts on their news feeds at any given time.
However, before demoting or suspending a page or account, Facebook said that the publishers have at least seven days to appeal and make necessary changes on the flagged content.
“If they make changes and the content is correct, the demotion will be reverted. However if the algorithms find that the publisher continuously publishes false information , the demotion of their page will be permanent,” Muhutu said.