Over 100 fact-checkers are in Menlo Park for Facebook’s Fact-Checking Partner Summit. So how did it start?

November 6, 2019
Category: Fact-Checking,IFCN

More than 100 fact-checkers from around the world landed in Menlo Park, California, this week to participate in Facebook’s Fact-Checking Partner Summit. The event gathers third-party fact-checking partners and is being considered a chance for both parties to exchange experiences and feedback.

The meeting started with Facebook sharing with fact-checkers the three tracks it has to fight misinformation. The company said it is focused on targeting and taking down fake accounts through technology, spammers that have financial reasons to post false content in the platform and also on providing content and context to users.

Two announcements were made at the meeting so far.

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and Facebook Journalism Project launched The Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative, a program created to support the development of projects focused on new and creative ideas around fact-checking, misinformation and/or disinformation.

Yesterday, Facebook also announced its expansion in Latin America. Agence France Press (AFP) will start to fact-check content in Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.

Fact-checkers from different continents took the stage and shared case studies and lessons they learned so far by debunking specific pieces of information in their countries.

Partners from Brazil, India, Kenya, Spain, Israel and the United States presented fact check examples. One was about a fake pedophilia and masturbation guide that was said to be distributed by a mayor in the Northeast of Brazil. The second work showed a network of false ads and posts related to a pill created by an Indian fake doctor to make people lose 1kg per day.

In Kenya, a fact check debunked a false headline involving the U.S. ambassador to Nairobi and, in Spain, it showed how easy it can be to mix migration and false numbers to create a hoax.

Fact-checkers from Israel and the United States showed examples of fact checks that weren’t published with ratings — or weren’t published at all, even after the newsroom did really deep reporting.

The two presentations, one about a claim regarding election fraud and another about a video allegedly showing Chinese troops in Hong Kong, got fact-checkers in the audience thinking about how important it is to have serious and in-depth conclusions before applying any rate in the Third Party Fact-Checking program.

The first Fact-Checking Partner Summit is two days of closed meetings for fact-checkers only. All sessions are either off the record or under Chatham House Rules.

Cristina Tardáguila is the associate director of the International Fact-Checking Network and the founder of Agência Lupa. She can be reached at ctardaguila@poynter.org.

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