Citizen-generated Fact-checking Platforms: Outgrowing failing Media Infrastructures

Speaker: Tomás Dodds

Moderator: Christian Christensen


December 10th, 2020, 18:00-18:35 CET


Written by Olha Kotielnikova


Keywords: Media, Fact-Checking, Protests, Chile


Short annotation, summary

When the Chilean protests started, citizens had to oppose the violence from the side of the government. State repressions unfolded towards citizens and consequently produced a grasp of political support and solidarity. Trying to be active, Chileans were faced with a problem of identifying and combating disinformation coming from both bots and the top of the national government.


The project or approach to be discussed in the session

  • Chile-Registra created a database, firstly, to store the photos and videos of the protests including military and police abuses and secondly, to identify the creators of these visuals.

  • Fast-check initiative based on Instagram relied on volunteers to check the information about the protests.

Evidence of impact

  • After 4 days of the protest (very quickly), the Chile-Registra started gathering the data.

  • Fact-check gained over 100,000 followers during the first active month.

  • People ended up enjoying simple bullet points performed by Fact-check volunteers rather than long-reads by professional journalists.

Limitations, risks of the approach provided by the speaker

  • Since human rights violations arose from social media platforms, not everything could be published immediately but Chile-Registra stored the information for the future.

  • Monopolised journalism has little trust in voluntary media-projects like the Chile-Registra.

  • In Fact-check, the capacity of professionalism is limited since it is based on volunteer support.

Takeaways

1. Fact-check and Chile-Registra identify the shortcomings of journalism and try to assist it.

2. The initiatives are not only pseudo-journalistic projects but they function as transparency devices.

3. They are calling citizens to participate, to be sources, producers and fact-checkers and proving citizens can organise themselves in a fight against the government.

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