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Why Is Facebook Labelling Pictures From Lekki Killings ‘Fake News’?

Nigerian Facebook users have complained that the platform moderators are labelling the blood stained Nigerian flag from the Lekki killings as ‘fake news’. The image of the blood stained flag went viral after Nigerian armed forces were accused of opening fire on peaceful protesters that blocked the toll-gate at Lekki, Lagos State.

 

Many of the displeased users took to Twitter to air their grievances, see some of the Tweets below:

 

 

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Why Is Facebook Labelling Pictures From Lekki Killings ‘Fake News’?

 

But why is Facebook labelling these posts as fake-news? The answer is that it comes from the company’s fact-checkers. These are independent people that identify and review ‘potential misinformation’. They do this by relying on feedback from users who flag a content as ‘being potentially false’.

 

Thus, Facebook fact-checkers may have gotten lots of reports that the blood stained Nigerian flag was a ‘misinformation’. Although, the company also uses machine learning models to improve its ability to predict misinformation.

 

It then says, “We apply a clear, visual label to content that has been debunked by fact-checkers, and surface their fact-checking articles for additional context.” So, this is likely why many of the posts relating to the killings happening in Nigeria recently are being flagged as ‘fake news’.

 

Additionally, it appears that it is not just limited to Facebook. The Defender says that Instagram is also applying the ‘fake news’ labels to posts related to the ongoing violence in Nigeria.

 

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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