March 31, 2022

The content and conduits of misinformation vary greatly depending on their language of dissemination. In Hispanic communities in the United States, false information tends to propagate mostly on WhatsApp because that’s where Spanish-speaking audiences consume their information, says Clara Jiménez-Cruz, CEO of and co-organizer of Factchequeado, a new initiative aiming to tackle Spanish-language misinformation in the U.S.

Cruz first took notice of this in 2019, when she noticed an influx of misinformation in Spain spreading through WhatsApp that originated from the Latin community in the United States. That’s when she reached out to Laura Zommer, the Argentinian editor-in-chief of Chequeado, the first major fact-checking organization in South America. But a particularly busy presidential election, and a subsequent global pandemic, put off their partnership until recently.

“We imagine that the project can give the general idea to researchers, and Big Tech and public policy creators, that disinformation is not necessarily the same in different languages,” Cruz said.

Chequeado has also studied the flow of Spanish-language misinformation from the United States to Latin America. In an investigation about how false content in the United States reaches Latin America, Chequeado details the export of U.S. COVID-19 misinformation that subsequently impacted countries like Mexico, Spain and the Dominican Republic.

“Our goal is to partner in a way with the legacy and well-known English fact-checkers … to bring more awareness to issues that local media might be covering,” Zommer said.

They’re also putting together a small newsroom, headed by Natalia Guerrero, a journalist and Nieman fellow. For Factchequeado, it is fundamental to create verified content in Spanish, targeted at underserved communities to limit the impact of mis- and disinformation, and it aims to do that through a network of small and big collaborators alike.

“We’re establishing alliances and a model of collaborative journalists, through hyper-local media to legacy media to distribute our verified content,” Guerrero told Factually. “Because there is content that only goes viral in the small communities that you never hear of. We want to be able to know what is around there, and we can do it through these collaborations.”

Factchequeado will be launching tomorrow in Austin, Texas at the 2022 International Symposium of Online Journalism.

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  • Next week is International Fact-Checking Week! Since International Fact-Checking Day falls on a Saturday this year, we’ve scheduled webinars throughout the week of April 4, on subjects ranging from our grant initiatives, the collaborative fact-checking project #UkraineFacts, to community efforts to tackle the harassment of fact-checkers. Guests include our verified signatories at, VoxUkraine, Verify Sy, Ghana Fact, Vera Files, Science Feedback, Jagran New Media, Vishvas, EFE Verifica, and Liputan6. Learn more at

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Seth Smalley is a reporter at Poynter and the IFCN. Get in touch at or on Twitter @sethsalex.
Seth Smalley

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