BBC: Nigerian police say false information on Facebook is killing people. “Nigerian police say false information and incendiary images on Facebook have contributed to more than a dozen recent killings in Plateau State – an area already torn by ethnic violence. When BBC Africa Eye got in touch with Facebook, the company disabled the account of a man in the UK who was spreading misinformation to thousands in Nigeria. Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners in Nigeria have committed just four full-time fact checkers to review false information, on a platform used by 24 million Nigerians.” This article contains graphic images. They’re fuzzed out, but still disturbing.
Techdirt: Governor Of Tanzania’s Capital Announces Plan To Round Up Everyone Who Was Too Gay On Social Media. “There has been an unfortunate trend in far too many African nations in which governments there look at the internet as either a source of evil in their countries or purely as a source for tax revenue, or both. The end result in many cases is a speech tax of sorts being placed on citizens in these countries, with traffic being taxed, bloggers being forced to register with the federal government, and populations that could otherwise benefit from a free and open internet being essentially priced out of the benefit altogether.”
The Conversation: How we arrived at a $1 billion annual price tag to save Africa’s lions. “A billion dollars. That’s approximately what it would cost, to save the African lion. That’s a billion dollars each year, every year into the foreseeable future. The startling price tag comes from a calculation we did, starting with a new database we compiled of available funding in protected areas with lions. To our knowledge it’s the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of its kind.”
The National: British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme sheds new light on the history of Africa and Islam . “At the beginning of December, a modest ceremony will be held at the National Archives of Mali in Bamako to celebrate a momentous achievement. The culmination of a nine-year project, the event will witness the handover of the final batches of about 8,000 digitised Islamic manuscripts collated from libraries and private collections located throughout Djenne, Mali one of the oldest continually inhabited towns in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Cosmopolitan South Africa: Africa’s Official Database Of GIFs is Here!. “If you don’t scroll past at least one GIF per day, you haven’t lived. They’ve pretty much taken over the online space but up until now, there haven’t been that many local GIFs available to use. That’s where 22-year-old, Lelo Macheke comes in! The Johannesburg native has launched GOWISHA or aka Africa’s Official Database Of GIFs – and we’re obsessed!” I mentioned Mr. Macheke in 2017, but at that point his collection was a GIPHY page. This seems much more extensive.
Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): Internet Connectivity Seen as Having Positive Impact on Life in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced dramatic gains in internet use in recent years. With this rapid growth in connectivity have come a host of potential problems, including fake news, political targeting and manipulation and financial scams, among others. Yet according to a new Pew Research Center analysis, most sub-Saharan Africans feel positively about the role the internet plays in their country.”
Quartz: Facebook is launching fact-checking tools in Africa—but WhatsApp is its real problem. “The company announced today (Oct. 3) that it would work with independent fact-checking organization Africa Check along with the French news agency AFP to assess news accuracy and stem the flood of misinformation. If a story is identified as false, Facebook will demote them in the news feed and will warn users who try to post those stories. As part of the review and rating process, the company will also share related pieces written by the fact-checking partners immediately below the story in the news feed.”