Spread the Facts Grant Program

 


In partnership with Meta, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) will award direct grant funding to support organizations using WhatsApp to launch, innovate and scale their efforts to combat misinformation. 

This new initiative will offer up to $800,000 in grant funding in two tiers: $25,000 and $50,000.   

In addition to monetary support, grantees will also receive exposure at Global Fact 10, in 2023, the IFCN’s annual global fact-checking summit that unites creators, consumers and champions of fact-based reporting. Through this initiative, grantees have an opportunity to connect with experts across the integrity ecosystem, providing access to mentorship, collaboration and a support network.


What are we looking for 

Interested applicants will present projects that help fact-checkers launch their presence on WhatsApp and/or scale existing efforts on WhatsApp. 

Applicants’ projects should be focused on one of the following two tracks:

  • Launch ($25K): Fact-checking organizations looking to establish a presence and/or increase fact-checking capacity on the WhatsApp Business App 
  • Scale ($50K): Fact-checking organizations currently using the WhatsApp API and interested in:
    • Increasing the distribution and/or promotion of fact-checks to reach new audiences
    • Increasing the scale, efficiency or workflow of fact-checking
    • Deploying new solutions and tools to address misinformation
    • Facilitating collaboration among newsrooms on fact-checking through technology

(Note: To apply for the Scale track, the fact-checking organization must be utilizing the WhatsApp API prior to submitting the application.)


Who can apply 

Applicants for the Launch track must be signatories to the IFCN Code of Principles that are currently using or looking to launch initiatives on the WhatsApp Business App.

Applicants for the Scale track must be signatories to the IFCN Code of Principles with existing operations on WhatsApp API.


Inside the application process

Organizations will apply within a 5-week timeframe, and recipients will be announced one month later. 

The recipients will be chosen by an independent selection committee composed of both internal IFCN and Meta stakeholders along with external experts with regional and global diversity. Recipients will have 6 months to complete the project. During this time frame, each grant recipient will submit reports on the progress of their projects and attend bi-weekly calls with the IFCN team, which would be shared once the recipients of the grant are announced and be willing to engage, discuss, present and answer questions during both the process and upon completion of their projects.

Recipients will also consent to have pages that showcase their respective projects on the Meta Journalism Project website.  Click here for the Terms and Conditions. 


Selection criteria

A committee of six judges creating a geographically diverse panel will assess applications after the submission period concludes. Applicants should consider the following questions as they determine the scope of their project and file their application:

  • Is the project an original idea, and discrete project, in the fact-checking field?
  • Does the project attempt to implement a solution already proven by another one with its supervision?
  • Does the project help the fact-checking organization increase its capacity on WhatsApp?
  • Does the project have the potential of reducing misinformation, improving the quality of the public debate and/or reaching a wider/new audience?
  • Does the project have the potential to grow in the future?
  • Does the project have the potential to be replicated by other fact-checkers with minor changes and serving its original purpose?
  • Is the requested budget in accordance with the goals and scope of the project and have the potential to be fully completed and implemented in time and form?

Terms and Conditions

This grant is subject to Terms and Conditions, including the following restrictions and requirements:

  • Applications will be accepted from  April 7, 2022, to May 13, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time
  • Grant recipients will be notified during Global Fact 9, June 22-25, 2022
  • Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in section A for their corresponding applicant category
  • All evaluation criteria will be weighted equally. See a list of criteria outlined in the corresponding section
  • All candidates must provide the application criteria outlined in the corresponding section
  • Grant amounts are divided into two tracks:
    • Launch ($25K): Fact-checking organizations and looking to establish a presence and/or increase fact-checking capacity on the WhatsApp Business App 
    • Scale ($50K): Fact-checking organizations and currently using the WhatsApp API and interested in:
      • Increasing the distribution and/or promotion of fact-checks to reach new audiences
      • Increasing the scale, efficiency or workflow of fact-checking
      • Deploying new solutions and tools to address misinformation
      • Facilitating collaboration among newsrooms on fact-checking through technology
  • The recipients will have 6 months to develop and launch their projects from the date grants are awarded
  • A representative for each grant recipient must commit to making a presentation about the project at the Global Fact 10 conference in 2023.
  • Each grant recipient is expected to schedule monthly assessment sessions with an adviser from the selection committee and/or a member of the IFCN staff.
  • Each grant recipient must provide IFCN with two short narrative reports and two financial reports: one of each at the midpoint of the project (about three months in) and one of each after the end of the 6-month project term. These documents will be made publicly available.
  • The awarded amount will be delivered to the applicable grant recipient in two different payments: 50% at the beginning of the project term and the remaining 50% after the midterm narrative and financial reports are approved. (If your project requires a different distribution, please inform.)
  • Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Inc. and  Meta(directly and/or through a third party (e.g., Submittable) may collect personally identifiable information to perform certain compliance checks and sanctions screenings.
  • National or legal residents of a jurisdiction where the laws of the United States or local law prohibits participating or receiving benefits in connection with a program such as this one or in which the United States has embargoed goods or services are not eligible to participate (including, without limitation, the following jurisdictions, Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria, Russia, China, Venezuela and any other area or jurisdiction designated by the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control).
  • Use of any Grant amount must comply with all applicable explicit or implicit terms and conditions or policies applicable for platforms, applications, software, tools, or other resources used by the fund’s recipient if any. Funds recipient must also comply with meta’s Privacy Principles available at https://www.Meta.com/about/basics/privacy-principles, as well as any ethical standards applicable to the proposed project, as determined in Meta and IFCN’s sole discretion. As such, each Applicant must follow the spirit of such terms and conditions, principles, and policies; and any attempt to subvert or to use a workaround of such terms and conditions or policies may, in Meta and IFCN’s sole discretion, result in forfeiture of any Grant amounts awarded or disqualification from this Program
  • Grant applicants are obligated to comply with all applicable laws and any additional compliance language requested in writing by Meta email acceptable).
  • Grant applicants are obligated to supply Meta and/or Partner, as applicable, with any information reasonably requested in order to perform necessary due diligence and background checks.
  • The Grant Recipient must agree not to use the funds provided in connection with the Program directly or indirectly, in any manner that would violate applicable laws, including, without limitation, in any manner that would constitute bribery, an illegal kickback, an illegal campaign contribution, or any other violation of applicable anti-corruption, political activity, economic sanctions, or other laws. The funds will not be used by the organization in any event to: (A) carry on propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence specific legislation; (B) influence the outcome of any specific public election or to carry on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive; or (C) utilize the Funds in a manner, not in furtherance of the purposes enumerated under 170(c)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • The grant program is subject to full Terms and Conditions are available here.

 

SELECTION COMMITTEE

  • Christoper Guess
    Lead Technologist Duke Reporters’ Lab
    Christopher is a journalist and computer scientist focusing on automated fact checking, policy and ethics as Lead Technologist at Duke University’s Reporters’ Lab. Previously he...
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  • Kanchan Kaur
    Dean, Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (India)
    Kanchan Kaur is Dean, Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM), Bangalore. She is also an India assessor for the International Fact-Checking Network which...
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  • Ferdi Ferhat Özsoy
    Program Manager, IFCN
    Ferdi Ferhat Özsoy is the Program Manager of International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at The Poynter Institute, the premier global coalition of fact-checking organizations. Before joining...
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  • Karishma Shah FRSA
    Program Manager for News Integrity Partnerships at Meta
    Karishma Shah FRSA is a Program Manager for News Integrity Partnerships at Meta, where she co-manages the WhatsApp Fact-Checking Program and supports Meta’s fact-checking partnerships...
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  • Orlando Watson
    WhatsApp Strategic Partnerships Lead, Meta
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  • Ebele Oputa
    Ebele Oputa is a certified project manager and researcher who has provided strategic, technical and programmatic oversight as well as editorial support for fact-checking programs...
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  • Natalie Pang Lee San
    Dr Natalie Pang is currently Deputy Head and Senior Lecturer at the Communications and New Media Department (CNM), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, as...
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