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Facebook, WHO Campaign Against Covid-19 Misinformation Across Africa

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Facebook WHO Campaign Against Covid-19 Misinformation Across Africa, SiliconNigeria

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Facebook has been working to connect people to accurate information and reduce misinformation on its platforms.

Last month it announced the biggest worldwide campaign to promote authoritative information about Covid-19 vaccines – working to remove false vaccine claims, reduce distribution of inaccurate health information, and inform people about effective vaccine delivery.

Today, across a number of African countries, Facebook is launching a new campaign in partnership with the WHO called ‘Together Against Covid-19 Misinformation’.

The campaign will roll out to people in English and French across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and DRC, and will show up on Facebook through a series of graphics with tips on how to spot false news:

  1. Check The Source: Scrutinise content, even if it appears science based
  2. Check How It Makes You Feel: False news can manipulate feelings for clicks 
  3. Check The Context: Look to public health authorities to confirm content 
Facebook WHO Campaign Against Covid-19 Misinformation Across Africa, SiliconNigeria

Aïda Ndiaye, Public Policy Manager, commented “Ensuring users are getting authoritative information about Covid-19 vaccines is just some of the vital work we’re doing here at Facebook.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, we’ll continue working with industry experts and people on our platforms to ensure we’re aggressively tackling misinformation, and giving people additional resources to scrutinize content they see online, helping them decide what to read, trust and share.”

As part of the campaign, Facebook will also be launching a dedicated website (https://bit.ly/3fwscsN) in English and French, which will include information on how we’re tackling misinformation on our platforms. It will give people more transparency around our Remove, Reduce and Inform strategy, outline our community standards, and share the steps we’re taking to combat false news around global events such as Covid-19, elections and climate change.

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Big technologies

Facebook Chief Revenue Officer, David Fischer Quits

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Facebook Chief Revenue Officer David Fischer Quits, SiliconNigeria

Facebook’s Chief Revenue Officer, David Fischer announced today that he will leave the social media company toward the end of this year, in a post on his verified Facebook profile.

“I am immensely proud of all that we have accomplished over the past eleven years, and am optimistic about the path the company is on,” he wrote in the post.

Fischer oversees Facebook’s advertising business and manages its sales and marketing teams worldwide and has been heavily involved in some of the social media company’s largest deals, including its recent $5.7 billion investment in India’s Jio Platforms.

Fischer also supervises Facebook’s operations in India, its largest market and one of its most important for messaging and shopping. The company reported that sales jumped 22% to almost $86 billion in 2020.

Fischer joined Facebook in 2010 after a long stint working alongside Sandberg at Alphabet Inc.’s Google. The duo also worked together at the U.S. Treasury Department in the late 1990s.

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Majority of Nigerians Want Unrestricted Access to Internet and Social Media- Survey

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Majority of Nigerians Want Unrestricted Access to Internet and Social Media- Survey, SiliconNigeria

A majority of Nigerians want unrestricted access to the Internet and social media, Afrobarometer survey findings show. The level of support for unfettered Internet and social media access is among the highest recorded across18 African countries.

Among the two-thirds of Nigerians who are aware of social media, large majorities say these digital platforms keep people informed and enable them to have more impact on political processes.

And while majorities also see social media as making people more likely to believe fake news and more intolerant of different opinions, positive views of its overall effects on society outnumber negative assessments by a ratio of 6 to 1.

As Nigeria has been rocked by #EndSARS protests against police brutality, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has called for a social media policy that will help regulate the spread of fake news.

But Afrobarometer findings show that Nigerians are more likely to blame politicians for disseminating false information than social media users and activists.

About two-thirds (63%) of Nigerians say they are aware of social media. Awareness increases with citizens’ level of education (88% of those with post-secondary education vs. 29% of those with no formal education) and decreases with age (66% of18-to 35-year-olds vs. 43% of those aged 56 and above).

Among those who have heard of social media, large majorities say it makes people more aware of current happenings (88%) and helps people impact political processes (76%).   On the other hand, majorities also say it makes people more likely to believe false news (70%) and more intolerant of others with different political opinions (60%).

Overall, two-thirds (65%) of citizens who are aware of social media rate its effects on society as positive, while only11% see them as negative (Figure 3). ▪Six in 10 Nigerians (61%) “agree” or “strongly agree” that access to the Internet and social media helps people to be more informed and active citizens, and should be unrestricted(Figure 4). Close to a quarter (23%) want government to be able to regulate access.

Among 18 countries surveyed in2019/2020, Nigeria ranks fourth when it comes to demand for unrestricted access to the Internet and social media (Figure 5).

Nigerians are most likely to blame politicians and political parties (69%) for spreading fake news, followed by government officials and “social media users” in general.  

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Berklee Partners Afrinolly Creative Hub on MTN Y’ello Star Project

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Berklee Partners Afrinolly Creative Hub on MTN Y’ello Star Project, SiliconNigeria

Berklee College of Music will take part in Y’ello Star, the latest music reality project by MTN Nigeria, with Afrinolly as Technical Partner. Members of the Berklee community will serve in various capacities on the project, and the winner of the music project will record their debut single at the Power Station at BerkleeNYC. 

 “We’re excited to work with MTN and Afrinolly Creative Hub on the Y’ello Star Project,” says Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “This is a great opportunity for artists from the vibrant Nigerian music scene to get advice and mentorship from Berklee’s knowledgeable professors while broadening awareness of Berklee in the region through MTN’s large audience. We look forward to hearing all of the talents and welcoming the winner to the Power Station at BerkleeNYC.” 

 MTN Nigeria created Y’ello Star to search, discover, nurture and launch music talents in the young Nigerian community. Over 10,000 contestants submitted entries for the project, and just the top 16 contestants will make it to the hub for the competition.

 Commenting on the project, the Acting Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Anthony Obi emphasized the unique difference between MTN Y’ello Star and other music reality TV shows. “This project goes beyond discovering talent in the Nigerian entertainment industry. MTN Y’ello Star is a conduit for capacity building within the creative industry, empowering the contestants and industry with the relevant practical knowledge to compete on a global scale. We are thankful for partners such as the Berklee College of Music who share this vision.”

 “It is time for Nigerian Music to take its rightful place in the global community,” says Chike Maduegbuna, CEO of Afrinolly. “With partners like MTN and Berklee, Afrinolly Creative Hub is excited to bring our technical expertise into the discovery of emerging music talents, cultivating and helping them grow. I am excited that Berklee College of Music is here to help us launch them on to a global stage.”  

The live shows will start November and run till December, 2020. Three judges, including popular Nigerian musicians and six-time Grammy award winner, actor and producer will bring on board their years of experience to bear on the show.  Berklee’s Jason Camelio, assistant vice president for Global Initiatives also remarks,

“The global pandemic is creating many challenges for artists to continue their studies, to engage with one another creatively and to move towards their artistic and career goals. Yet, it is presenting us with opportunities to innovate and connect in ways that are expanding our reach. The collaboration between Berklee and Afrinolly through the 2020 MTN Y’ello Star project allows us to build on our commitment to learning, cultural exchange, mentorship and entrepreneurship.”

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