5 May 2024, William Bird and Thandi Smith, Daily Maverick

The platforms carefully curate echo chambers for each of us, so what we see may be very different to what the people we live with or work with see. A key mechanism is to encourage public reporting of potential misinformation and disinformation. 

Real411 is a one-stop complaints portal, regardless of platform. Real411 assesses content in terms of South African laws and constitutional principles, giving you an easy mechanism for reporting content. In addition to not having to worry about the difference in reporting mechanisms across platforms, you can watch how your complaints get dealt with as they go through the system. 

By running Real411 in line with SA law and keeping the complaints available as a public archive, we have tracked trends in misinformation and disinformation since 2019. This achieves two key outcomes — the first is that Real411 acts as an early warning system. Because of users’ personalised echo chambers, a person who reports helps expose a possible pattern that others might be seeing variants of.

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