Facebook has rolled out a product that practicing journalists in Kenya can voluntarily register as the social media giant seeks to curtail misinformation on the platform.
The firm says the platform allows registered Kenyan journalists to receive features and tools designed to support them including safety and security features that help further secure their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
“Journalists serve an essential role of keeping us informed and connected with the communities we care about. In the course of doing their jobs, journalists can face threats both in the physical world and online. We know that journalists and news media professionals are at a higher risk of online harm because of their occupation, and we want to provide better account protections for them,” said Janet Kemboi, Facebook Communications Manager for East Africa.
However, the firm has barred journalists who are currently candidates for political office, are campaign staffers working for a candidate for political office, or for a government employee from registration.
Journalists are required to verify the news organization they work for which should also be registered as a news page on Facebook besides submitting five bylined news articles, a link to your biography on a news organization’s staff directory page, or by providing a professional email address.
“Journalist registration is a continuation of our work to better identity and support journalists on our platform. While we’re starting with account protections, in the future registered journalists may also be eligible for other news-specific benefits, tools, and features. We’ll continue working with news organizations, academics, and industry groups to explore other ways to support registered journalists.” added Kemboi.
According to Kemboi, once a journalist has registered, their personal Facebook accounts will be added to an internal list of accounts that will receive safety and security protections geared towards keeping vulnerable groups safe.
Applicants may also be eligible to receive Facebook Blue Badge Verification and access to Crowd Tangle Search – a platform which allows for searches across social media platforms.
Journalists can either register through an in-app quick promotion (QP) sent proactively by Facebook to accounts who are likely to be journalists, or through Help Center page where anyone can access the registration flow.