Digital Innovation Digital Publishing
3 mins read

Poynter’s FactCheckingDay: A comprehensive online arsenal for battling fake news

Fake news can have deadly consequences. It has led to mob violence and murders in several parts of the world, and there are also ongoing debates on how it has been used to influence elections.

According to a 2018 Gallup poll, trust in major institutions, newspapers, and television news were among the lowest. When respondents were asked why they didn’t trust the media, about 45% referred to the prevalence of inaccuracy, bias, “fake news,” and “alternative facts,” as being the main reasons.

To tackle this phenomenon in an organized manner, Poynter founded the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) in 2015. It’s dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers from across the world so that they can share best practices, resources, and information about prevailing instances of fake news. According to IFCN’s Director, Baybars Örsek, “Misinformation knows no borders, [Professional] fact-checkers can’t do it alone.

“Initiatives such as IFCN and others should work to empower fact-checkers and build collaborative actions to tackle this global phenomenon. Everyone has a responsibility and capacity to contribute to the cause.”

IFCN has created a hub for fact-checking resources at FactCheckingDay.com. Publishers and journalists can use these tools to learn how to deal with fake news, as well as stay updated with the latest news and information.

Factcheckingday.com was born as an answer to concerns about the reach and impact of online misinformation.

Poynter Institute

Here are some of the main resources available at FactCheckingDay.com:

Interactive EduCheckMap: EduCheckMap has 200 activities, resources, videos, games, research and other types of materials belonging to 57 fact-checking platforms, from 29 countries, on five continents.

Among its offerings, EduCheckMap includes a lesson plan on how fake news spreads, a video on fact-checking the internet and an interactive quiz to help distinguish fake from real news. The site also helps users connect with fact-checkers around the world.

It is a living database, designed to grow over time with the contributions from those who join the ecosystem.

A sampling of resources available at EduCheckMap:

Navigating Digital Information: This is a 10-episode video series from Crash Course hosted by bestselling author, John Green. Green takes viewers through the intricacies of evaluating online information, from videos to infographics, using the same processes as professional fact-checkers. The course also dwells into how search engines and social media feeds work.

Here’s a preview of the Navigating Digital Information course:

Hands-on Fact-Checking Short Course: This is a 90-minute, self-directed program created by the IFCN and the American Press Institute, and funded by the Google News Initiative.

It demonstrates best practices developed and tested by today’s fact-checking journalists who “face particular challenges posed by misleading rhetoric from politicians and government officials and the use of social media platforms as launching sites for viral misinformation.”

The course includes lessons on identifying reliable sources in fact-checking, debunking viral disinformation, and deciding whether a statement is really checkable. The program is available for free.

Articles: FactCheckingDay also offers articles featuring latest news and methods for fact-checking across a variety of platforms. These articles are designed such that they are easily adaptable for presentations, and can be used for media training workshops. Here are a selected few:

How to geolocate a video or image, in 5 steps
How to spot fake images anywhere on the internet
10 tools and tricks to verify Instagram posts
Preparing for the worst: How to stay ready for the next big viral hoax
How to fact-check a politician’s claim in 10 steps

These are tools that publishers can even share with their users to make fact-checking a collaborative effort. That may even build engagement. The Quint, an Indian digital news publisher invites its users to send in stories that appear fake. The publishers then fact checks these stories. According to a WAN-IFRA report, this collaboration is one of Quint’s fastest-growing segments.

Download WNIP’s comprehensive new report—50 Ways to Make Media Pay—an essential read for publishers looking at the multiple revenue opportunities available, whether it’s to reach new audiences or double down on existing super-users. The report is free and can be downloaded here.

Related posts

What's New In Publishing articles suggested by Bibblio
Helping publishers increase engagement, improve monetization and drive new audiences. Read more