Fact-checkers gear up for EU elections
But the fact that the EU has so many languages poses other challenges. For instance, when a Greek TV talking head says on the air that migrants are given free brothel coupons in Germany — a hoax that Germans know rather well — this false information can spread freely in Greece. Fortunately, we have a Greek partner who debunked this, so if this story pops up in another country, we're prepared. That's one of our main goals.
- The deadly terrorist attack on a New Zealand mosque Friday posed a difficult new challenge for social media companies, as they tried to rid their platforms of copies of a livestream that the shooter put on Facebook. As The New York Times' Kevin Roose wrote, the murders appeared designed for the Internet. So much so, BuzzFeed noted, that the shooter left little room for fakes or hoaxes — usually seen after such episodes — to fill the void.
- Facebook has expanded its fact-checking partnership to Spain. The latest projects to join the program, which lets fact-checkers limit the spread of false content on the platform, include Newtral, Maldita.es and the Agence France-Presse’s Spanish team. (Disclosure: Being a signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles is a necessary condition for joining the project.)
- As we’ve noted, India is determined to fight disinformation. But with how heavy a hand? In an opinion piece, Bloomberg's editorial board argued that recently drafted regulations would impose what it calls “drastic if not impossible obligations” on platforms, saying they would “worsen security, eliminate privacy, and undermine freedom of speech.”
- Mother Jones explored what it calls the “bizarre and terrifying” case in Gabon, where President Ali Bongo released a video to reassure his country after getting treatment overseas for a stroke. But was it doctored? The author, Ali Breland, doesn’t make a judgment, but suggests it almost doesn’t matter — just the possibility that it could be a deepfake created enough doubt to feed chaos, and a failed coup.
- Donald Trump and others on the American right have been critical of fact-checking. But such criticism can come from the left, too, as this piece from left-leaning outlet ThinkProgress shows. It takes on the Associated Press fact-checkers’ conclusion that presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke inaccurately suggested there is a consensus about a window for addressing climate change.
...the future of news
- In October, Google announced that it was building a search engine for fact checks. The beta version of that feature is going live soon, according to a blog post from the Google News Initiative, as well as an updated version of the markup that fact-checkers embed in their articles so that they’re picked up by Google.
- Do you have a great fact-checking idea? Apply for the IFCN’s innovation fund by March 29 for the chance to win $50,000.
India has been rife with misinformation over the past few weeks following a terrorist attack in the Kashmir region. And with general elections coming up April 11, even more false claims are making the rounds online.