Home Community Insights MyAIFactChecker: A Revolutionary Solution to Africa’s Information Pollution Epidemic

MyAIFactChecker: A Revolutionary Solution to Africa’s Information Pollution Epidemic

MyAIFactChecker: A Revolutionary Solution to Africa’s Information Pollution Epidemic

As the world gains access to information at unprecedented speeds due to the rapid growth of technology across borders, news, which is information or happenings from the north, east, west, and south of the world, has continued to erode, adding ‘fake’ as a superimposed prefix, which scholars and professionals have described as unnecessary if news is truly a truthful concept, as reporters, editors, and media entrepreneurs want the audience to believe. 

The world has been battered and continues to be impacted negatively as a result of the activities of some people, groups, and governments who typically seek solace in creating diluted messages or information in order to achieve personal social, economic, and political gains at the expense of the collective positive well-being of the majority, who require access to quality messages or information in order to make informed decisions for present and future growth. 

Stakeholders in Africa, like those on other continents, have devised and implemented a number of policies and initiatives aimed at reducing information pollution. According to a survey of multiple sources, interested stakeholders have worked on disinformation, misinformation, mal-information, fake news, and hate speech, which are the most common forms of information pollution. The creators and disseminators of polluted messages have been targeted with a variety of behavioural change intervention programmes and activities.

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The Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative is a prominent actor in the development sector that has worked relentlessly to build long-term strategies for reducing polluted messages across multiple media and communication platforms in Africa, particularly Nigeria. BBYDI is a youth-led organisation that brings together the creativity and capacities of a number of African youths to create and provide useful public goods across tribes, communities, and societies. 

A few years ago, the youth’s nimbleness and their faith in Africa’s progress and advancement inspired the establishment of Fact-check Africa, a platform that uses both non-human and human tools to disintermediate the power of those spreading polluted messages in real time. Since actors of information pollution change strategies and tactics day-by-day, Fact-check Africa through the BBYDI developed MyAIFactchecker, to provide a strong AI-enabled application for Africans to detect and isolate fictitious facts from facts. This, according to the organisation, becomes highly necessary in a world where generative artificial intelligence such as large language models are now being deployed by purveyors and spreaders of messages that affect reputation and cause damages in societies. 

The App 

In this piece, after many days of using the tool, our analyst notes that MyAIFactchecker offers capabilities and produces results that make it a game changer in the continent’s fight against information pollution. BBDYI’s app encourages truth-seekers to go through three stages in their quest to become informed and dismantle any confirmation bias they may have developed from absorbing polluted messages on any medium. The first step is to introduce a clause or paragraph of dubious news into a designated segment. The next step is to press the authenticity button, which will expose concealed information from multiple sources. The truth-seekers are supposed to analyse the results obtained from a variety of credible sources in the third stage. 

Aside from these, our analyst observes that sentiment analysis, one of the app’s key features, aligns with existing views from media scholars and artificial intelligence experts that deep mediatisation of separating fictions from facts is critical in the fight against information pollution. This is based on the fact that significant business actors continue to employ sophisticated and embedded artificial intelligence capabilities. It is also critical that truth-seekers be able to diffuse their preconceived feelings about the targets in the polluted message consumed previously. 

The Outputs

Our analyst tested the app using two fake news stories fact-checked by Africa Check and Dubawa, two of the key fact-checker platforms in Africa. While these platforms developed human and non-human tools such as Google Image Reverse to authentic news stories, MyAIFactchecker serves as an automated fact-checking for assisting human fact-checkers in their quest of providing solutions to the menace. This is evident from the way the app turns out fact-checked news stories from Africa Check, Dubawa among others for the truth-seekers to further deepen their thirst for genuine information. 

Our analyst picked “Kenya’s deputy president used a foreign plane to attend military chief’s funeral,”  a social media claim from Africa Check, and inserted it into the provided section. MyAIFactchecker says, “The claim that Kenya’s deputy president used a foreign plane to attend the military chief’s funeral appears to be a falsehood propagated on social media. Fact-checking has revealed that these claims are not accurate.”

“Nigeria is the inaugural nation globally to implement a new meningitis vaccine, Men5CV,” from Dubawa, resulting in the app saying, “Yes, Nigeria is the inaugural nation globally to implement a new meningitis vaccine, Men5CV. This is confirmed by several sources, including the World Health Organisation.”

The app further provides negative and neutral sentiments for Kenya’s and Nigeria’s information, respectively. In line with this, our analyst points out that the app seems to be associating polluted messages with negative and neutral emotions with fake and real information, respectively. As previously said, truth-seekers may, in this way, have their previously held negative opinion of the targets changed or abandon doing acts that could harm the targets. Additionally, neutrality would enable individuals to keep a positive outlook and engage in initiatives that lessen the negative effects of information pollution. 

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