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February 7, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:28am

Agence France-Presse expands Facebook fact checks to cover Middle East and North Africa

By James Walker

Agence France-Presse is expanding its fact-checking operations with Facebook, in which it debunks flagged content shared on the social network, to include the Middle East and North Africa.

Under a new contract with Facebook, AFP will add fact-checking in Arabic to its existing English, French, Spanish and Portuguese fact-checking services with a new team based in Beirut, Lebanon.

Articles produced through the collaboration will be available on a revamped version of AFP’s Fact Check blog, which first launched in 2017.

The blog was set up to counter fake news and misinformation posted and shared across Facebook when the platform flags it up.

AFP global news director Phil Chetwynd said: “We are delighted to extend our fact-checking project with Facebook into the Middle East and beyond.

“Information verification is at the heart of AFP’s mission and its expertise and is something that our clients benefit from daily in this era of fake news and disinformation”

AFP’s head of Arabic service Rita Daou added: “This new contract with Facebook to the Middle East and Africa marks an important new step for AFP, the leading international news agency in Arabic.

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The AFP fact-check extends to 16 countries, comprising: South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cameroon, Colombia, Spain, France, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal.

Its agreement with Facebook covers the verification of images posted on its platform. Content on the platform that AFP flags as fake is downgraded on people’s news feeds, according to the fact-check blog’s website.

Facebook claims that content found to be fake by fact checkers will also be accompanied by related fact check articles.

Picture: AFP Fact Check

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