Nigeria Technology

2023: Meta to protect integrity of Nigeria’s elections

Meta has stated its resolve and made concrete efforts to combat the spread of misinformation and to make political advertising more transparent as part of measures to protect the integrity of the elections scheduled for 2023.

Meta has stated its resolve and made concrete efforts to combat the spread of misinformation and to make political advertising more transparent as part of measures to protect the integrity of the elections scheduled for 2023.

Meta announced this last week while speaking to the media at a roundtable in Lagos, Nigeria, about the upcoming 2023 elections.

It claimed it would build on Meta’s experience and knowledge gained from supporting elections in Sub-Saharan Africa and around the world to keep working toward this goal before, during, and after the vote.

Meta stated that it had consulted with human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, local civil society organisations, regional experts, and local election authorities to develop a strategy that would keep its users safe, adapt its election strategies to the specific conditions of Nigeria, and ensure the continued viability of its platforms.

“We know we have an important responsibility when it comes to helping to keep people safe during the elections,” said Adaora Ikenze, Meta’s Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa. Using lessons from the past, including input from experts and policymakers across the national spectrum, we’ve made substantial investments in people and technology to reduce misinformation, remove harmful content on our platforms, fight voter interference and promote civic engagement during the elections. We continue to work closely with election authorities and local partners in Nigeria to ensure we’re preparing for the specific challenges in Nigeria and taking appropriate steps to stay ahead of emerging threats.”

She said that a dedicated cross-functional team with members worldwide and in Nigeria has been working together to get ready for the upcoming elections. She emphasised the importance of having local knowledge by mentioning several Nigerians and others who have spent considerable time in the country.

“The team also includes individuals with global expertise in misinformation, hate speech, elections and disinformation. These teams are working hard to prevent abuse of our services before, during and after Nigeria’s 2023 general elections. Locally, we also have staff who reside in Nigeria and work in the public policy and public policy programmes and communications,” she added. 

Another step, in her view, is ensuring everyone’s safety.

She states, ” Since 2016, we have quadrupled the size of the global teams working on safety and security to about 40,000 people and have invested more than $16 billion in teams and technology in this area. This also includes over 15,000 content reviewers located across the globe in every major time zone. Collectively, these reviewers can review content in more than 70 languages – including Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.”

She said that to prioritise integrity on their platforms during and after elections, they are still working on outlining the Community standards that publicly explain what is and isn’t allowed on their platforms before the election.

She also suggests taking strong measures to counteract the spread of false information.

She emphasised the importance of people seeing truthful information on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, saying that Meta, as an organisation, is aware of this. “We are working with our fact-checking partners in Nigeria, including AFP, Africa Check, and Dubawa, to identify and remove potentially false content from our platforms, as well as to label it and push it down in our feeds so that fewer people are exposed to it.”

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