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2023 Polls: Nigerian fact checkers fight election misinformation with AI tools

Ahead of the general elections in Nigeria, a UK-based charity, which tackles misinformation through fact-checking and campaigns, Full Fact has partnered with organisations dedicated to…

Ahead of the general elections in Nigeria, a UK-based charity, which tackles misinformation through fact-checking and campaigns, Full Fact has partnered with organisations dedicated to promoting credibility in information.

Collaborating with International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) members including Africa Check, Dubawa, and FactCheckHub; Full Fact is expanding the use of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to stop the spread of misinformation during the election.

The project was made possible by a $2 million grant from Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org                              The technology, developed by Full Fact since 2015, would 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.

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Full Fact AI is a suite of robust, scalable software tools designed to assist fact checkers and organisations focused on promoting 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 including: 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; and 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.

During the course of the Nigerian elections, Full Fact AI will share fact checks, images, videos, and impact stories from their fact-checking service. Full Fact will also provide ongoing training and support to its local fact-checking partners during the election process.

According to the CEO of Full Fact, Will Moy, Full Fact with the help of AI technology is determined to make it harder for false and misleading claims to spread and erode trust in democracy.

“Every vote should be an informed vote. We have 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,” Moy said.

Also, Google’s Government Affairs & Public Policy Manager, Nigeria, Dawn Dimowo, expressed that Google.org is dedicated to using its 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.”

The Editor of FactCheckHub, Opeyemi Kehinde said, “The platform 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.”

Kemi Busari, 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.”

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