NuktaFakti: Why we will not stop fighting misinformation in Tanzania
By Daniel Mwingira
For three years Nukta Africa had invested in fighting fake news to reduce misinformation and disinformation in Tanzania by publishing debunked stories as they happened.
However, during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 we boosted our efforts by joining other fact checkers in Africa like Pesa Check and Africa Check. Instead of publishing debunked misinformation as normal news, we embarked on full time fact checking and started with misinformation about Covid-19.
We launched our fact checking initiative dubbed Nukta Fakti on 1st May 2020 with initial support from Internews under the Boresha Habari program funded by USAID.
We started by implementing a three-month fact checking program on social media by verifying fake claims and publishing truth, providing techniques and tools for news verification and quick-wins COVID-19 preventive measures through infographics.
Later on Nukta Fakti extended its mission on fighting misinformation in Tanzania in other issues apart from Covid-19. Our fact checking mission has received further support from other organisations such as Purpose Ltd in countering covid-19 misinformation .
Nukta Fakati has managed so far to debunk more 80 stories and published more than 40 how-to stories on countering misinformation. We have also successfully published at least 40 infographics with content either debunking misinformation or sharing preventive measures on covid-19 or any other misinformation.
Though fact checking is a new phenomenon, Nukta Fakti’s social media accounts attracted more than 10,000 combined followers on three platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in 2020.
More than half a million people have been reached by NuktaFakti between May and December 2020. Investment on social media has helped us reach more people online, which is the main source of misinformation in Tanzania.
The value for this initiative is to rescue the public from misinformation and ensure the fight against fake news continues so that we can reduce disinformation in our communities.
Our initiative also poses a learning ground to other news organisations to increase fact checking efforts to counter an ever increasing misinformation and disinformation.
We are proud not only being the first digital media house but the only digital media outlet in Tanzania to start this initiative and set a mark in the fighting against disinformation.
In 2021 we will continue to debunk more misinformation in a wide range and our focus is to build a special fact checking site for fighting misinformation and to set an example for other media houses to follow.