Full Fact, a UK-based independent charity which tackles misinformation through fact-checking and campaigns, is partnering with Nigerian organisations dedicated to promoting credibility in information during the upcoming general election on February 25, 2023.
Full Fact will expand the use of its AI tools to stop the spread of misinformation during the election by collaborating with International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) members, Africa Check, Dubawa, and FactCheckHub.
In 2019 Full Fact was chosen from more than 2,600 nonprofits, social enterprises and research institutions worldwide as a winner of the Google AI Impact Challenge. The charity received a three-year grant and full-time technical support from a team of Google employees via the Google.org Fellowship.
The project, made possible by a $2 million grant from Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has already seen remarkable results. With the support of 7 dedicated technical Google.org Fellows who worked on a pro bono basis, Full Fact’s AI technology has seen a 1000x increase in claim detection (i.e. identifying which claims are most essential to fact-check) and helped scale their fact-checks to appear in 237 million search results in 2020.
Read also: How to monitor the 2023 presidential election results with the INEC Result Viewing portal (IReV)
The technology, developed by Full Fact in 2015, will now be used in a Nigerian election for the first time, offering instant transcription services and real-time fact-checking during debates, speeches and throughout the election process to increase the speed and accuracy of information dissemination.
How Full Fact AI tools will tackle misinformation during the election
Full Fact will provide ongoing training and support to its local fact-checking partners during the election process. Despite the emergence of organisations and initiatives aimed at countering the spread of misinformation and promoting accurate information in Nigeria, fact-checking still faces challenges, such as limited resources and difficulties accessing information.
“Every vote should be an informed vote,” says Will Moy, CEO of Full Fact. “We’ve seen first hand how bad information spreads during an election and it can’t be allowed to undermine democracy. Our AI tools, with support from Google.org, help fact checkers stay ahead of false claims and promote accurate information. We’re proud to support our partners in Nigeria during this important time.”
In the same vein, Dawn Dimowo, the Government Affairs & Public Policy Manager, Nigeria for Google.org, explained that the organisation aims to impact society using its products.
Google’s philanthropy brings out the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges combining funding, product donations and technical expertise to support underserved communities and provide an opportunity for everyone.
“At Google.org, we’re dedicated to using our resources and technology to make a positive impact on society. Continuing our support for Full Fact in Nigeria is an exciting opportunity to help stop the spread of misinformation and promote accurate information during the election. This builds on our ongoing efforts to support local fact-checking initiatives. We’re proud to support this important project and make a positive difference in the world.”
Google.org has invested in Full Fact for another three years to support its work to radically scale its tools and take them to the global fact-checking community.
Nigerian fact-checking organisations are eager to use the tools provided by Full Fact to ensure that the information made available to the public regarding the elections are accurate so that the nation’s citizens are well-informed.
Opeyemi Kehinde, Editor of FactCheckHub, said, “Using the Full Fact AI tool, built in collaboration with Africa Check, has enhanced our work ahead of Nigeria’s 2023 general election. Since we were onboarded, our team of fact-checkers and researchers at the Nigerian Fact-checkers Coalition (NFC) have been utilising the AI platform to source claims for debunking easily.
The platform also comes in handy for our live checks of political town halls and debates for candidates, especially its live transcription feature, which we hope to utilise in the days before the election.”
David Ajikobi, Nigerian editor at Africa check, said, “Full Fact’s AI Tools, which Africa Check helped develop, allow the coalition to monitor news websites, social media pages and transcribe live TV or radio to find claims to fact check. This has boosted the coalition’s resolve to significantly reduce the spread and impact of election-related misinformation and disinformation.”
Read also: 2 easy ways to confirm your INEC-designated polling unit ahead of the election
What is Full Fact AI?
Full Fact AI is a suite of robust, scalable software tools designed to assist fact-checkers and organisations that promote accurate information. The combination of artificial intelligence and human expertise enables Full Fact AI users to effectively combat misinformation while maintaining high standards of accuracy and credibility.
Full Fact AI provides three tools to Nigerian fact-checkers:
The Search tool, which helps identify the most significant statements to fact-check each day by monitoring online media, social media, and RSS feeds;
The Alerts tool, which informs fact-checkers of repeat instances of previously fact-checked false information, allowing them to act quickly and insert accurate information into public discourse;
The Real-Time tool, which offers an instant transcription of election debates, interviews, and town halls, eliminating the need for manual transcription and providing a record of fact-checkable claims.
Kemi Busari, the editor of Dubawa, said, “Full Fact AI has been very helpful in the lead up to the 2023 elections in Nigeria. I use the tools searching for claims and even identifying persistent spreaders of falsehood. These tools, combined, would further help us as fact-checkers to hold politicians accountable and help people access accurate information about the election.”
During the Nigerian elections, Full Fact AI will share fact checks, images, videos, and impact stories from their fact-checking service.
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