Disinformation content and channels vary widely depending on the language in which they are broadcast. In Hispanic communities in the United States, fake news tends to spread primarily on WhatsApp because that’s where Spanish-speaking audiences consume their news, says Clara Jiménez-Cruz, CEO of Maldita.es and co-organizer of factcheckadoa new initiative to combat misinformation in Spanish in the United States
Cruz first noticed this in 2019, when she noticed an influx of misinformation in Spain spreading via WhatsApp and coming from the Latin community in the United States. That’s when she contacted Laura Zommer, the Argentine editor of Chequeado, the first major fact-checking organization in South America. But a particularly charged presidential election and ensuing global pandemic postponed their partnership until recently.
“We imagine the project can give the general idea to researchers, Big Techs and public policy makers, that misinformation 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 one investigation on how fake content in the United States reaches Latin America, Chequeado details the export of American disinformation about COVID-19 which then impacted countries like Mexico, Spain and the Republic Dominican.
“Our aim is to partner in some way with well-known English heritage and fact-checkers…to raise awareness of issues that local media might cover,” Zommer said.
They also set up a small newsroom, headed by Natalia Guerrero, journalist and Nieman Fellow. For Factchequeado, it is fundamental to create verified content in Spanish, aimed at underserved communities in order to limit the impact of misinformation and disinformation, and it aims to do this through a network of small and large collaborators.
“We are building alliances and a model of collaborative journalists, across hyper-local media to mainstream media to distribute our verified content,” Guerrero told Factually. “Because there is content that only goes viral in small communities that you never hear about. We want to be able to know what’s out there, and we can do that through these collaborations.
factcheckado will launch tomorrow in Austin, Texas at the 2022 International Symposium on Online Journalism.
Of actuality :
- Studying — and fighting — misinformation should be a top scientific priority, biologist says. Evolutionary biologist Carl Bergstroms shares his perspective on the vast world of misinformation, network theory, and social media information through the lens of evolutionary biology. (Science, Kai Kupferschmidt)
- If someone shares your policy, you’re less likely to block them when they post misinformation. Here’s an interesting article on a Journal of Communication study with around 1,000 participants, which suggests that social media users are more likely to block contacts for sharing misinformation if the contact’s political ideology differs from their own. The study found that participants on the left were more likely to cut off contact, while participants on the right were more likely to tolerate misinformation. (Nieman Laboratory, Shraddha Chakradhar)
- An anti-Russian ‘disinformation operation’ targeted a Finnish university, but it’s unclear why A disinformation campaign targets Russian students at the University of Helsinki, deploying thousands of messages calling for sanctions against Russian students and staff. The motive and source of the campaign are both unknown. (Euron News, Tom Bateman)
- It’s no shock that TikTok is serving Ukrainian disinformation to users An interesting discussion about Ukrainian disinformation and the enigmatic TikTok algorithm. A mentioned study found that new Tik Tok users received misinformation about Ukraine within 40 minutes of signing up, whether or not they did something to trigger the algorithm. (New Statesman, Sarah Manavis)
From/for the community:
Events and training:
- Next week is International Fact-Checking Week! As International Fact-Checking Day falls on a Saturday this year, we have scheduled webinars throughout the week of April 4, on topics ranging from our grantmaking initiatives, the Fact-Checking Collaborative Project # UkraineFacts, to community efforts to combat harassment of fact checkers. Guests include our verified signatories at Maldita.es, VoxUkraine, Verify Sy, Ghana Fact, Vera Files, Science Feedback, Jagran New Media, Vishvas, EFE Verifica and Liputan6. Learn more about https://factcheckingday.com/
Thanks for reading. If you are a fact checker and would like your work/projects/achievements to be highlighted in the next edition, please email us at email@example.com by next Tuesday.
Fixes? Advice? We would love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.