Project Description

Africa Check

Africa Check is the continent’s first non-partisan fact-checking organisation, set up to promote honesty in public debate and the media across the continent. Its main office is in South Africa.

Africa Check exists to promote accuracy and honesty in public debate and the media in Africa and to enable other in the media, civil society and the wider public to check the accuracy of claims themselves. We carry out this work in the belief this will strengthen democracy and improve life outcomes across the continent

Fact Checking the 2019 Elections

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Africa Check seeks to ensure a fairer election in South Africa in 2019 by tackling misinformation circulating in traditional and social media and providing voters with reliable non-partisan information on key campaign issues in the six months up to and one month after the vote.

Print, radio and television remain the main means of getting news and information in South Africa. Millions of people also receive news online largely through social media platforms and other sources. Millions of voters are vulnerable to manipulation, and unable to distinguish ‘fake news’ or misinformation from accurate news and information, which is made worse when communities have low literacy and education levels.

In the run up to this election, so-called ‘fake news’ and misinformation tends to increase in both traditional and social media. Around the world, election campaigns are often decided in the six months before voting day, a period when voters’ decisions are formed and harden before they go to the voting booth.

To tackle the misinformation, Africa Check is:

  • Producing and publishing fact-checks that assess claims made by major political parties.
  • Producing and publishing factsheets related to the elections which set out for voter’s clear non-partisan information on key issues in the campaign.
  • Partnering with mainstream media partners to ensure that the fact-checks and factsheets are widely disseminated.
  • Maintaining and updating the African Election Promise Tracker which tracks promises made by the ruling parties in the countries Africa Check operates in (including the ANC in South Africa) by providing information on the status of promises it has made to voters.
  • Raising public awareness about ‘fake news’ and misinformation and how to spot it.