Fact checking and accountability journalism

Can social media shutdowns work?

When news broke that six sites, including churches, hotels and housing complexes, had been bombed on Easter Sunday, the Sri Lankan government acted swiftly. Following the terrorist attacks, which had killed more than 300 people as of this publication, government officials blocked several social media sites in an attempt to stop the potential spread of misinformation. The New […]

Factually: Lessons from fact-checking the Notre Dame fire

By now, most people who operate in the world of misinformation are well aware of the conspiracy theories associated with the fire at Paris’ Cathedral of Notre Dame this week. The hoaxes came swiftly and unabashedly: assertions the fire was deliberately started, that there were chants of “Allahu Akbar” outside the church and that a […]

Factually: Facebook plays election whack-a-mole

Facebook tackles election misinformation This month, elections kick off in at least five countries around the world. As a result, Facebook and other tech platforms have been doing some last-minute preparation to try to protect their platforms from misinformation. In India, where voters have been stricken with misinformation in the lead-up to the start of the general […]

Factually: Misinformation is inciting violence around the world. And the platforms don’t know how to stop it.

More misinformation-related attacks This week, France became the latest country to be stricken with misinformation-related violence. On Monday, French police arrested 20 people accused of attacking Roma people in the suburbs of Paris. In one attack, about 50 people armed with sticks and knives attacked Roma living in a slum and set fire to their cars. […]

Factually: The Census could be next target for fakery

Can tech companies help fight U.S. Census misinformation? The U.S. election isn’t the only 2020 event threatened to be disrupted by misinformation. Reuters reported Wednesday that the U.S. Census Bureau has asked Google, Facebook and Twitter to “help it fend off fake news campaigns it fears could disrupt the upcoming 2020 count,” citing Census officials and others […]

Factually: A new fact-checking project in Europe

Fact-checkers gear up for elections in Europe   A big development in fact-checking this week came in Europe, where 19 news organizations are collaborating on a project called FactCheckEU. They’ll fact-check politicians’ rhetoric and misinformation ahead of the May parliamentary elections. (Full disclosure: The platform is being helped with an innovation grant from the IFCN, and the participants […]

Factually: Fact-checking health claims gets new life

Two new health fact-checkers When HealthNewsReview.org announced it was shutting down in December, it went mostly unnoticed. Almost nobody tweeted about the closure of the outlet, which had been debunking bogus health claims for 13 years. An email to the IFCN listserv highlighting HealthNewsReview’s demise got no responses. And the move went uncovered by most major media […]

Factually: New pressure on companies over vaccination content

Anti-vaccine posts draw scrutiny Social media platforms’ role in fueling anti-vaccination sentiment is drawing continued scrutiny in light of a surge in measles outbreaks around the world. It is a particular concern in the United States, where lawmakers have been holding hearings on the issue, including one Tuesday in which Ethan Lindenberger, an 18-year-old son of an […]

Factually: What research says about crowdsourcing on Facebook

Facebook crowdsourcing, one year later When Mark Zuckerberg revealed last week that he was considering crowdsourcing as a way to combat misinformation on Facebook, journalists went on the defensive. “You can’t apply an open-source model to fact-checking and journalism,” former Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski told The Guardian. “You have to have experts.” “Some obvious problems […]

Factually: False images after Kashmir attack show how quickly fakes can spread

A barrage of fake images in Kashmir Jency Jacob had never seen anything like it. “We have been fact checking since November 2016,” the Boom Live managing editor tweeted on Monday. “Never before has one incident taught us so many things about new forms of #fakeimages.” The incident Jacob referred to was a Feb. 14 terrorist attack […]