Kenya: Facebook rolls out tool to combat fake news ahead of polls

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Facebook has rolled out a new tool to help users in Kenya spot fake news ahead of this week’s presidential election.

A recent survey of 2,000 Kenyans revealed 9 out of 10 respondents had seen fake news. Now Facebook is rolling out a tool to help the networks 7 million users in Kenya evaluate the news content they see after logging in.

 

Facebook helps Kenyans spot fake news

The tool will help Kenyan’s evaluate content that displays prominently on their News Feed and other locations where ads feature – both common spots for fake news. The tool leads users to a page with tips on how to spot fake news, including how to check web addresses, sources and compare with other reports on the same topic.

A recent study suggests 90% of mobile users in Kenya have seen fake news on social media. Half of those rely on social media as their main source of news, according to the study by Geopoll and Portland Communications last month.

Facebook has 7 million monthly users in Kenya and the network is working to tackle fake news, particularly in the build up to elections.

Tensions are high in Kenya as the country gears up to hit the polls on Tuesday amid fears of violence. Many Kenyans are reported to have left the capital Nairobi and some have even fled the country to neighbouring Uganda.

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.