Ife Ogunfuwa

Facebook says it is dealing with bad actors; tackling fake accounts; improving the transparency of advertising and pages; and reducing the distribution of false news in the run-up to the 2019 Nigerian general elections.

According to the social media company, these activities are part of its continued commitment to ensure integrity and safety of the Nigerian elections.

At an Election Integrity Exhibition for media, civil society partners and other stakeholders in Nigeria, Facebook’s Politics and Government Outreach Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Tom Miller, said that the company took the integrity of elections seriously, and would continue to explore multiple measures and partnerships to ensure that the integrity of the Nigerian elections was protected.

He emphasised that teams across the company were committed to ensuring Facebook remained a safe platform for all.

“Our goal is to continue launching measures to ensure the integrity and safety of the Nigerian elections, so that we can continue to drive positive social and economic impact across Sub-Saharan Africa, drive innovation by supporting Africa’s tech entrepreneurship ecosystem and also train communities and the next generation of leaders to better understand and utilise the power of digital tools for civic engagement,” Miller said.

Highlighting Facebook’s commitment to fighting the spread of false news and hate speech on the platform, Public Policy lead for Anglophone West Africa, Akua Gyekye, said that Facebook cared about Nigeria and had invested in the country.

“Facebook’s mission is clear: to give people the power to build communities and bring the world closer together. Our mission in Nigeria is no different – we understand the importance of being local in a global world – and want to have a positive long-term impact.” she said.

“In addition, we want to support people who want to be more civically engaged and connect with issues they care about— not just on Election Day, but every day. We do this through a variety of activities, such as partnering with civil society organisations focused on increasing voter education, building tailored civic engagement tools which are relevant for Nigeria, and by raising digital literacy by sharing tips on how to spot false news with our community.”

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