The Future of Facts

(Graphic by Isaac Avila Rodriguez)

For the past few years, fact-checkers around the world have been thrust to the center of the war for the future of the internet. The International Fact-Checking Network asked seven experts around the world to reflect on fact-checking in 2018 and make predictions for the new year.

Have an innovative take about fact-checking in 2019? Tweet us @factchecknet or email

Daniel Funke and Alexios Mantzarlis, IFCN

“In 2019, we predict that fact-checkers will have to contend with the rise of government actions against misinformation around the world. They’ll see even more attempts to undermine their debunking efforts.”

Clara Jiménez Cruz, Maldito Bulo

“We decided to copy the ‘bad guys’ in order to fight back. We decided to debunk hoaxes in the same format of the hoaxes that had proven so effective at reaching citizens. We decided to try to make the facts as viral as the lies. And it worked.”

Sophie Nicholson, Agence France-Presse

“Fact-checking has always been part of AFP’s editorial process, but in 2018 we built up an outward-facing international fact-checking team to focus on investigating dubious pictures, videos, official statements and other information being shared widely online.”

Cristina Tardáguila, Agência Lupa

“It’s been two months since we had general elections in Brazil. Only now is the toxic dust of misinformation seemingly settling down, allowing us to look back at what happened and list 10 lessons from our experience that might be useful to fact-checkers elsewhere in the world.”

Tai Nalon, Aos Fatos

“While Facebook, Google and Twitter built more or less transparent strategies to combat fake news, other platforms such as WhatsApp remained silent. Its overall apathy regarding the issue damaged the informational environment in Brazil.”

Yvonne Chua, Vera Files

While the dream is to see more Filipinos take up fact-checking, the reality is fact-checking has its share of risks. Being an online publisher can invite more than just trolling and lawsuits.  There are many other risks journalists are only too familiar with.”

Tim Hwang, Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative

“We are not likely to be awash in deepfakes anytime soon. This technology will remain, for the near-term, a narrow technique likely to be leveraged by states and other well-resourced actors.”

Karen Rebelo, Boom Live

India is the world’s second largest smartphone market after China and WhatsApp’s largest market, with over 200 million monthly active users. However, the app mutated from an intimate messaging service to a megaphone of misinformation.”