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Don’t delete! What to do if your Facebook or Instagram post has been rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

You’ve posted an image, a video, a statement or a link to an article on Facebook or Instagram. And a fact-checker has rated it “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. 

This could mean fewer people will see your page. Stronger action is taken against repeat offenders.

What do you do?

First, don’t delete the post.

Deleting the post won’t remove the strike against your account. But it will make it impossible for a fact-checker to process any appeal.

Second, read Meta’s guide: What publishers need to know about fact-checking on Facebook.

Then take these steps.

1. Has the fact-checker got it wrong? Appeal the rating

If you think a fact-checker’s rating is unfair, you can appeal to them directly.

If Africa Check rated your post, fill in this form and submit it to us. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

2. Has the fact-checker got it right? Correct your post

If the fact-checker’s rating is fair, you’ll need to correct your post or article. Then fill in this form and submit it to us, and we’ll process the correction as soon as possible.

If you’re not sure how to make a correction, read the next step.

3. Correcting the information

How to correct a post

If the false information is in the Facebook or Instagram post itself, edit the caption – the text you wrote when posting the content – to state that it is false, and why.

Say, for instance, you shared a graphic that incorrectly attributed a quote to a famous person. All you need to do is edit the text of the post to indicate that the quote is not by that person, and how the fact-checker worked that out.

Here’s an example of a corrected Facebook post.

How to correct an article posted on Facebook

If the false information is in an article you have published on a website and posted on Facebook, you’ll need to correct the article.

Once you’ve made the correction, clearly state either at the start or end of the article that the error was made, that it has been corrected, and why.

Here are two examples of corrections to articles:

4. Ask for the rating to be changed

Once you’ve corrected the post or article, fill in this form and submit it to us. We’ll assess the correction and, if it meets the requirements, remove the rating as soon as possible.

Learn how to identify false information

Africa Check’s Guides include many resources to help you spot false information. They give you the skills to allow you to fact-check, by yourself, information you suspect could be false.

Here are a few:

Also see our tipsheets:

And our Info Finder provides reliable facts and useful data sources on a wide range of topics for Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and the rest of Africa.

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