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Facebook adds fact-checkers in Urdu, English, Tamil, and Gujarati

Facebook has now added fact-checkers in four new Indian languages – Urdu, English, Tamil, and Gujarati, expanding its fact-checking capacity to 10 languages, reports the Economic Times. Its also increased the number of posts fact-checkers can review by 25%, per the report. Its unclear which of its seven fact-checking partners added the new languages. Several fact-checkers reportedly pointed to Facebook that certain content surfaces just before and after polling and debunked information gets republished with fresh narratives. Facebook is also providing additional funding to the fact-check partners for the election period, leading them to hire more people for languages. India reportedly has the most number of fact-checkers than any other country Facebook operates in.

Facebook cannot keep up with the languages its offered in

Its worth noting that this comes after Reuters reported that Facebook doesn’t have the bandwidth and capability to deal with fake news and over a 100 languages. The report noted that:

  • Facebook officially supports 111 different languages, and another 31 languages are widely spoken/used on Facebook that d not have official support
  • Facebook’s 15,000-streong content moderation team speaks around 50 languages, although the company said it hires professional translators when needed
  • Facebook’s community standards have been translated in only 41 languages out of the 111 supported, the rules run into 9,400 English words and are updated monthly

Facebook said community standard rules are translated case by case depending on whether a language has a critical mass of users (number unspecified) or if Facebook is a primary information source for a certain geography or speakers. Among the current priorities are, translation of the community standards in Khmer, the official language in Cambodia, and Sinhala, the dominant language in Sri Lanka; rules are now available in Burmese with over 100 people who speak Burmese among workforce. Facebook said its efforts to protect people from harmful content had “a level of language investment that surpasses most any technology company.”

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