Facebook on Monday announced the expansion of its third-party fact-checking programme with the addition of international partner AFP and Bangladesh-based organization Fact Watch, as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation in Bangladesh.
AFP and Fact Watch join Boom, who has partnered with Facebook since 2020 when the program was first introduced in Bangladesh.
AFP and Fact Watch, which have been certified by the Poynter Institute's non-partisan International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), will review and rate the accuracy of Bangla and English stories on Facebook, including photos and videos in Bangladesh, said a media release.
When third-party fact-checkers rate a story as false, altered or partly false, it will appear lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution on Facebook. Instagram will also make it harder to find by filtering from Explore and hashtag pages, and downranking it in Feed.
Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed.
In addition, content across Facebook and Instagram that has been rated false or altered is prominently labeled so people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.
These labels are shown on top of false and altered photos and videos, including on top of Stories content on Instagram and link out to the assessment from the fact-checker.
Facebook's fact-checking program started in December 2016. Today, the social media platform has over 80 partners fact-checking content in over 60 languages.
“Expanding our fact-checking program with new partners from AFP and Fact Watch, is an important step in our effort to reduce false news which requires the support of the broader community. As part of our effort to build more informed communities, the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, the IFCN and our fact-checking partners will host a discussion on the importance of fact-checking during the pandemic. We welcome the efforts and hope to work together to help build a more informed community in Bangladesh,” said Anjali Kapoor, Director of News Partnership, APAC at Facebook.
Last year, Facebook worked with the Ministry of Education, ICT Division and civil society partners in Bangladesh to launch We Think Digital, the company’s flagship program to empower the next generation of digital-first citizens to become more responsible and create respectful communities online.
Last week, the Facebook Journalism Project and Reuters launched Reuters Digital Journalism Course in Bangladesh to help journalists build a strong foundation in digital reporting and editing.
Facebook has been working with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and ICT Division to help people access information about COVID-19, hygiene practices and vaccines.
In April, the social media platform also launched a media literacy campaign in Bangladesh to tackle COVID-related misinformation.