Facebook is covertly rating users who flag fake news—which is how such a system needs to operate to be effective.
ABC staff call in union over restructuring
Dissecting a viral xenophobic hoax
This is how we do it
- Aos Fatos got a helping hand from Full Fact to live fact-check a Brazilian presidential debate using automation and annotation.
- Factly, an Indian fact-checking project, was awarded the IFCN’s flash grant for the Asia-Pacific region. It will use $10,000 to fact-check a dedicated website the Modi government launched to herald its achievements.
- Agência Lupa hired an ombudswoman to field feedback from readers during this fall’s election campaign.
This is bad
- A new study from the University of Texas at Austin found that exposing people to “elite discourse” about fake news leads to lower trust in media and less accurate identification of real news. (Should we give up our jobs?)
- Another hoax from Christopher Blair (republished on several fake news sites) has been shared by several local police and sheriff’s departments in the U.S.
- Fox News used a photo of Patti LaBelle in its obituary photo for Aretha Franklin, who died from pancreatic cancer last week.
This is fun
- A street artist in London manipulated Facebook advertisements on the company’s approach to misinformation.
- The Washington Post’s Abby Ohlheiser met with a woman who regularly creates viral hoaxes like “Selfie Rat.” The woman, who goes by the name “Zardulu,” didn’t take her floor-length robe or mask off the whole time.
- Someone created a fake Twitter ad campaign about how the company is working to combat fake news.
- The IFCN is awarding two $2,500 fellowships to fact-checkers who want to embed with an organization in another country. Apply by Aug. 31.
- Are you a Brazilian fact-checking project looking for $10,000 to launch a big project? Apply for the IFCN’s flash grant by Sept. 3.
- On September 17, the IFCN and First Draft are hosting a workshop on how to fact-check misinformation beyond the major platforms, with a focus on three U.S. battleground states. Apply by Sept. 7.
A closer look
- On Line, one of the most popular messaging apps in Southeast Asia, misinformation is everywhere. Daniel wrote about how scammers regularly profit from peddling bogus health stories, and Splice Newsroom profiled a fact-checking project that debunks them.
- Facebook told The Washington Post it is now rating the trustworthiness of users (on a scale of 0-1) who regularly flag content as untrue in order to cut down on the number of false reports. The company clarified to Gizmodo that the rating is specific to reporting content.
- Speaking of Facebook, The New York Times reported that the company removed 652 fake accounts, pages and groups trying to spread misinformation in the U.S., U.K., Latin America and the Middle East. The move came almost a month after Facebook detected another influence operation.
If you read one more thing
12 quick fact-checking links
- Malaysia has repealed its anti-fake news law, which critics say was a veiled attempt to regulate the media.
- Axios’ Sara Fischer published a roundup of the ways that misinformation has gotten more sophisticated since 2016.
- Here’s what Poynter’s MediaWise project learned about digital literacy from teaching high school students fact-checking.
- In India, an ex-serviceman, still working for the Defence Ministry, recorded a viral video that the Army called a "fake video of an imposter.” It’s not.
- Facebook is rolling out a feature that shows when a page was created and where its managers are based.
- A French fact-checking veteran shares his frustration that people are still sharing fishy claims from anonymous tweeters as facts (in this case, false allegations about the mafia and the Genoa bridge disaster).
- PolitiFact turned 11 this week. A year ago Alexios wrote about its impact on political fact-checking around the world.
- The Ringer is hiring several ex-ante fact-checkers in New York and Los Angeles.
- Fake experts. Fake advocates. Fake crowds. John Oliver’s Aug. 13 deep dive on "astroturfing" is a must-watch for fact-checkers.
- This headline oversells what’s going on, but in minor good news: A major content recommendation platform is going to use fact checks from IFCN verified signatories to demonetize fake news.
- Italian debunker David Puente looks at the strange case of an alleged fan of one party sharing an incendiary widely-shared post attacking the leader of the party he probably actually supports.
- India’s government told WhatsApp it must establish a formal presence in the country to help stop the spread of misinformation.