Facebook said on Thursday it was in talks with State House about a post reported to President Uhuru Kenyatta whose content the social media platform incorrectly described as “misinformation.”
A Facebook spokesperson said their automated system incorrectly classified the message as false due to a photo of the president that appeared in a previously verified article that was reported as false in December 2019.
“We are aware that our automated systems have incorrectly classified a post from State House Kenya as fake. This post was a message of congratulations to His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni on his re-election, which included a photo of the President that appeared in a previously verified article marked as Dec 2019 error. Issue resolved, with the match bug fixed; Facebook spokesperson said, “We are in contact with State House Kenya.”
The aforementioned post by President Kenyatta included a message of congratulations to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who won the country’s general elections on Saturday.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta described the re-election of President Yoweri Museveni as a testament to the Ugandan people’s confidence in his leadership,” as stated in a tweet at the Presidency.
President Museveni, in power since 1986, declared victory in the Ugandan presidential elections held on January 14th.
Facebook flagged the message by State House, calling it “misinformation,” prompting State House to pull the post.
While reporting the post, Facebook claimed that the message had been verified and found to be fake.
“The same information was verified in another publication by independent fact-checkers, and it turned out to be false,” she said.
However, the message was not reported on Twitter.
According to Facebook’s regulations, deleting a post containing “false information” does not affect the result.
In 2016, Facebook announced a new procedure for reporting potentially misleading stories.
Facebook partnered with a host of organizations to clarify questionable and heavily shared reports, and it has since continued to improve its systems as part of its broader effort to stem the flow of malicious reports before they gain full traction.