Tanzanian Media Outlet Fights Online COVID-19 Misinformation

Swahili-language fact-checking page NuktaFakti dispels rumors and publishes stories, infographics, and tips on how to protect against COVID-19. Published on Facebook by Tanzanian digital media company and Internews partner Nukta Africa, the page has so far debunked eight false or misleading stories, including a famously fake story that claimed Tanzania’s minister of health Ummy Mwalimu had contracted COVID-19.

Social media post titled, The story was circulating fast on messaging apps in Tanzania, although it originated outside the country. As well as verifying with primary sources such as the Ministry of Health, the NuktaFakti team also uncovered the identity of the website that published the fake story to help the audience understand the truth.

Within 24 hours of its launch in May, the page had 110 followers, growing exponentially to 2,450 followers in the third week. NuktaFakti also cross-posts on Twitter and Instagram, making its combined followers over 6,000.

“The response proves that people want content on fact checking, especially in these challenging times of COVID-19. Until now, it was not readily available,” said Nukta Africa’s Chief Trainer Daniel Mwingira.

The Facebook page also educates its audience on how they can fact-check information on their own before sharing it online.

NuktaFakti is supported by Internews’ Boresha Habari program, with support from USAID.