Alexios Mantzarlis is the director and editor of the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute.
The Week in Fact-Checking: Does your favorite Facebook group have a spam problem?
In the fight against online misinformation, Facebook’s News Feed is typically front and center. But an investigation from BuzzFeed News found that spammers are increasingly using fake groups to spread conspiracy theories, troll, hack and harass other users. The tactic is a global problem — and it could get worse. Given Facebook’s recent announcement that group content will be given more prominent […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: Fake news and the law
This week, the European Commission’s high level group on misinformation released its final report, which includes calls for supporting media financially, data sharing from platforms and an explicit recommendation against outlawing fake news. (Here are six takeaways from the report). Still, countries around the world have increasingly taken an interest in fighting misinformation. In light of the growing governmental interest in fighting […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: Will facts get lost in the Facebook algorithm?
Over the past month and a half, Alexios Mantzarlis and Daniel Funke tracked fact-checkers’ analytics to see how the recent Facebook algorithm change affected them. The topline finding is that, while there was a major dip in shares and interactions compared to 2017 — in part due to political cycles — they didn’t detect any major fluctuations in fact-checkers’ […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: When it comes to fake news, misery has company
Much of the global conversation around misinformation has centered around the United States: its politics, platforms and polarized public. But other players have an increasingly important role. For instance, the International Fact-Checkers Network reports: the Austrian foreign minister recently called a journalist “Pinocchio” and fake news — and got sued, the United Kingdom Embassy in the […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: Tragedy, compounded by misinformation
Last week’s shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead and several injured spawned the usual hoaxes that follow American tragedies: fake images of the shooter, posts claiming he was a member of Antifa, false identifications and phony screenshots of his Instagram account. Then there were those that aren’t so typical. Imposter tweets targeted journalists attempting to […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: The unexpected professionals behind fake news campaigns
Two curious researchers who wanted to get behind the scenes of disinformation campaigns in the Philippines were surprised at who they found there. It turns out the country’s advertising and public relations executives are playing a key role in disseminating misinformation, hiding in plain sight behind an army of highly organized freelancers. Read a summary; download the […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: Facebook’s baby steps
Alexios Mantzarlis reports from a closed-door meeting with Facebook officials and fact-checkers: “Facebook and its third-party fact-checking partners met at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., this week after a rocky 14 months of working together. (Daniel Funke has written about the fact-checkers’ concerns.) “My general takeaway is that Facebook is stepping up its commitment to this partnership […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: An army of fact-checkers for SOTU
For U.S. President Donald Trump’s annual State of the Union address Tuesdaynight, fact-checkers came out in force. They took to a new live fact-checking platform to provide context in real time. They posted fact checks to Twitter and Facebook as Trump spoke — some of which went viral. At one point, PolitiFact’s site went down briefly because of the rise in traffic. […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: There is hope for the universe
Over the past few years, academic work on fact-checking has blossomed. That’s why the International Fact-Checking Network today is launching a research database containing a curated list of studies that help further understanding of misinformation. The aim is to arm practitioners with interesting research they can use to inform their work. In other research news: In a […]
The Week in Fact-Checking: Blue Monday isn’t a thing but here are some other things
Our top story this week: Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner in charge of Digital Economy and Society, kickstarted on Monday the first meeting of the EU’s High Level Group on fake news. Alongside a series of public events, the High Level Group’s report will inform a communication from the Commission on the topic expected for April. Communications are policy documents, not […]