The Week in Fact-Checking: The Facebook saga, jailed for fake news, and a new mission for a Tea Partier

Mark Zuckerberg is out of Congressional hearings — but it was still a busy week for the Facebook CEO.

This Wired writer is not impressed by Facebook’s testimony before British MPs. But Zuckerberg has another chance — he’s been summoned“Fake news” warningsshrink the content on your News Feed. Here’s a look at Facebook’s new “something happened” ad campaign. At F8, the platform’s annual developers’ conference, Zuckerberg spoke about the fact-checking partnership. Speaking of which, debunking site found that the reach of their fact checks are often surpassed by the fakes themselves, and called on Facebook to expand it to Turkey.

In non-fact-checking related news, Facebook also launched a dating feature. What will next week bring?


Research you can use

  • MIT Media Lab research identifies an increase in the spread of misinformation but says we’re unfairly blaming bots.
  • The founders of Hoaxy, an online platform that helps enable the study of misinformation, have published research on the “anatomy” of online misinformation networks and how they can be disrupted.
  • is a new initiative to share important data about the web. The first dataset provides metadata related to some ClaimReview-annotated fact checks.

This is how we do it

  • A new fact-checking project in Sweden is borrowing a familiar strategy from Norway: distributing fact checks on each media partner’s website.
  • And the winner is: a tool called VeriPixel, a “photo verification solution to restore trust in news images.” It won the 2018 RJI Student Competition.
  • In this tip sheet from International Fact-Checking Day, learn nine ways to help fact-checkers verify information during a crisis.

This is bad

  • Who needs deepfakes when you have video games? YouTube tutorials have become a primary source for several fake war videos.
  • Meet Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, the first person sent to jail for violating a fake news law in Malaysia.
  • Bots and trolls are just part of everyday life in Mexico’s elections.

A closer look

  • Last week the European Union released its first major action against fake news. Here’s what it does and doesn’t include.
  • The world’s fifth most-popular website doesn’t have thousands of employees, Quartz reminds us. And here’s NPR’s interview with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who says internet users “are adrift in the fake news era.”
  • BuzzFeed interviews a former Tea Partier is teaching “smart and sensitive” people how to spot fake news.

If you read one more thing

The IFCN’s Alexios Mantzarlis writes about why we need to address the internet’s woes in buckets or be perpetually disappointed.

15 quick fact-checking links

  1. South African media’s interest in fact-checking has sharply increased in the past five years, according to this study commissioned by Africa Check.
  2. A new study published by two undergraduates at Colorado State University-Pueblo found that your ability to distinguish between fake news and satire depends on who you are.
  3. As fact checks become increasingly powerful signals on social media, these projects are trying to check them.
  4. Even academic reports on transportation infrastructure are using the terms “fake news” and “post-truth.”
  5. Fact Check became Facebook’s latest fact-checking partner, ahead of Ireland’s referendum on abortion.
  6. Try this at home (if you live in Michigan): The Michigan Truth Tour.
  7. Fake news,” the Nigerian president and the s***hole comment.
  8. How Facebook’s fake news problem is affecting the future of Mic.
  9. Esquire has a list of President Trump’s top 5 lies, out of 3,001.
  10. ICFJ has extended the application deadline for its new fellowship program.Read more hereApply here.
  11. Kanye West gets fact-checked.
  12. Here’s an update on Verificado 2018, a collaborative election fact-checking initiative.
  13. BuzzFeed News reports on why real people are turning their Instagram accounts into bots.
  14. Russia has called on United Nations member states to set up a joint mechanism for combating fake news.
  15. The Times of India debunked a viral photoshopped image of one of its headlines.
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