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Posts by Alexios Mantzarlis

About Alexios Mantzarlis

Alexios Mantzarlis joined Poynter to lead the International Fact-Checking Network in September of 2015. In this capacity he writes about and advocates for fact-checking. He also trains and convenes fact-checkers globally. Mantzarlis previously served as Managing Editor of Pagella Politica (Disclosure) and FactCheckEU, respectively Italy's main political fact-checking website and the EU's first multilingual crowd-checking project. He has presented fact-checking segments on Italian TV and led seminars on fact-checking around the world. Before becoming a fact-checker he worked for the United Nations and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies.
NEWS

Mozilla wants to matter more in the fight against misinformation

Mozilla, the nonprofit organization behind the Firefox browser, announced today a new program to combat online misinformation. The Mozilla Information Trust Initiative is a four-pronged effort concentrating on new products, internet literacy, research and loosely defined "creative interventions." Mozilla will not disclose how much funding it has assigned to the initiative as a whole, even as it hopes other … Read More
FROM THE POYNTER INSTITUTE

Apply for the 2017 International Fact-Checking Network fellowships

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at Poynter is accepting applications for its annual fellowship program. The two fellowships, worth $2,500 each, are aimed at fact-checkers seeking to spend time embedded at a fact-checking organization in another country to be exposed to best practices they wish to adopt. The inaugural fellows worked on automation and fact-checking on television. Read More
NEWS

Most Kenyans have seen fake news, according to a new report

Almost nine out of ten Kenyan voters believe they have seen fake news about the upcoming election, according to a new report. The survey — conducted by Portland, a consultant, in partnership with GeoPoll, a mobile polling company — polled a nationally representative sample of 2,000 Kenyans by text message. Eighty seven percent of respondents claimed they saw "information … Read More
NEWS

European policy-makers are not done with Facebook, Google and fake news just yet

ROME — The U.S. and its political context have loomed large over the interventions made by Facebook and Google to combat fake news. Even though the companies are household names all over the world, it was fallback from the revelation that top false stories outperformed real stories ahead of the American election that ultimately moved Facebook to deploy … Read More
FROM THE POYNTER INSTITUTE

Fact-checking has never been this important. Come define its future

In the fall of 2015, I joined Poynter to run the newly launched International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). While I had high expectations for the new gig, I could not predict that in the following years fact-checking would become a crucial element of the conversation on the future of journalism worldwide. The IFCN has played a central role in this … Read More
NEWS

Conservative websites are far more likely to attack fact-checkers than their liberal counterparts

During the 2016 presidential election, popular conservative websites were far more likely to criticize fact-checking organizations than their liberal counterparts, according to a new analysis of 10 U.S. partisan publications. The analysis, conducted by the Duke Reporters' Lab, logged 792 statements mentioning fact-checkers and categorized them as positive, negative or neutral. While a majority of citations (68 percent) … Read More
NEWS

Repetition boosts lies — but could help fact-checkers, too

You can't remember all the things you know all of the time, so you rely on some mental shortcuts to get on with life. For instance: You are likelier to think something is true if you've encountered it more often. This phenomenon is known as the "familiarity effect" or "fluency heuristic" and has been documented by a relatively ample body … Read More
NEWS

Can fact-checkers agree on what is true? New study doesn't point to the answer

False. Pants on Fire. Three Pinocchios. Ratings are often the most popular and the most controversial part of fact checks. Readers enjoy their clarity. Search engines benefit from the structure they provide. And, because they can provoke irate reactions, ratings force reporters to build the strongest possible case for their conclusions. A majority of fact-checkers use ratings, according to … Read More
NEWS

Trendolizer wants to be the Tweetdeck for fake news

Fake news stories are often extremely easy to debunk. Fact-checking "Pope Francis endorses Donald Trump" required little more than an analysis of papal interviews and an email to the Vatican press office. Some fakers don't even bother writing up an article to back up their hoax headlines. Yet by the time fact-checkers arrive on the scene of a … Read More
NEWS

'On The Media's' Brooke Gladstone on 'The Trouble with Reality'

Brooke Gladstone doesn't like the term "post-fact." But she doesn't think facts are doing great, either. Her new book — "The Trouble with Reality," available May 16 — is a brief work targeted at those unsettled by President Trump's attack on facts. True to form, the co-host of WNYC's "On The Media" doesn't deliver a monologue but a pacey … Read More
NEWS

French and American voters seem to respond in a similar way to fact-checking

An unequivocally positive side-effect of all the "fake news" headlines has been a growing interest among social scientists to research the impact of fact-checking. In one of the most recent studies (here in English), economists at the Paris School of Economics and Sciences Po found that providing factual information on immigration improved French voters' understanding but didn't reduce their … Read More
NEWS

New report on fake news recommends fighting it with more conservatives, greater collaboration and better access to data

Outreach to conservatives, increased collaboration between journalists and academics and more data from major social media companies could help fight the tide of fake news, according to a report released Monday by the the Harvard Kennedy School and Northeastern University. The premise of the first recommendation — involving more conservative voices and institutions like the Cato and Koch Institutes … Read More
NEWS

How has political fact-checking changed after Trump's first 100 days? Not much.

For fact-checkers, 2016 never really ended. Last year, fact-checking websites drew record traffic. Polls found majorities in favor of more fact-checking. Many mainstream media organizations shed their reluctance to call out falsehoods within everyday reporting. Studies found that fact-checking can work, despite the "post-fact" doomsayers. Yet that same year, the Pants-on-Fire candidate became the … Read More
NEWS

You can now tell Google that Obama was not the 8th Black U.S. president

Late last year, Google tweaked its search algorithm to fix a pesky problem: Users who asked the search engine whether the Holocaust occurred were served a post from the White supremacist site Stormfront denying its existence as a top result. Similar problems occasionally arise with Google's featured "snippets," the prominently displayed boxes that highlight highly-cited answers from around the … Read More
NEWS

A French journalist is bringing fact checks to millions using Facebook Live and his own two feet

Julien Pain was tired of preaching to the choir. After spending several years debunking viral fakes for France 24's Les Observateurs, Pain was on the lookout for a format that would expand the reach of his fact-checking. "I realized I was only reaching people who agreed with me," says Pain. "And people who didn't check their information wouldn't be … Read More
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