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ICFJ launches TruthBuzz, a global contest for fact checking

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) has tied up with the Craig Newmark Foundation to launch TruthBuzz,  a global competition to invent new ways to verify facts for audiences.

The contest will seek entries that debunk fake news and share facts in engaging and entertaining ways that are understandable and shareable. According to the agency, while there are news sites and citizens that spot dubious claims, the explanations are usually in a long form that ‘don’t quickly make a strong case on social media,’ and as such, it is looking for ‘shareable’ formats.

The agency will accept entries in any digital format including video, cartoon, graphic, .gif, photo, audio file etc., in seven different languages. The contest will start in April, and ICFJ will host a webinar to answer questions and refine ideas. The winning entries will appear on a public site where journalists and other citizens can use it as an example to spread facts.

Note that ICFJ is not the only agency working on authenticating news – last month Google expanded its fact checking tag for Google News to Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, after having introduced it in France and Germany in October last year. Facebook also rolled out its fake news filter in Germany this year, a month after launching in the US. This happened after major news sources, like Google and Facebook, came under flak for false stories – like the one about the Pope endorsing Donald Trump before the election which outperformed real news – for adversely affecting fair elections, and in general spreading misinformation which has significantly impacted national policies.

At a recent event hosted by MediaNama, we discussed how the proliferation of fake news as it is becoming incredibly important from societal, media, political and geo-political perspective. Check our discussions on What is Fake News, How and why is Fake News spreading, Dealing with Fake News and the Anatomy of Fake News.

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