Fact checking is an important part ofwriting an accurate article. Meticulous authors do research prior to committingtheir thoughts to paper. Not all authors are so careful. Editors and readersserve society and themselves well when they read with a judicious eye.
Justbecause a piece is written and printed does not necessarily make it true, so theability to check facts, coupled with openness to a possible bias on the part ofan author, will enable the discernment of truth or distortion. However, due tothe enormous amount of fake news information that are being circulated, theInternational Fact –checking Network has been established to help journalistand countries to have the tools needed to provide accurate information to thepublic and have good journalist skills. Moreover how the organization functionsand what are the challenges it faces will be looked at. 1.
5 International Fact checking Network /Poynter Institute InternationalFact-Checking Network which is a nonpartisan organization run by The PoynterInstitute that advocates across the globe for accuracy in online articles. The Poynter Institute is a global leader injournalism. It is the world’s largest leading instructor, innovator, convenerand resource for anyone and its mission is to aspire to engage and informcitizens in the 21st Century democracies.
The institute teach management,ethical decision-making and the power of diversity to journalist and student byenhancing their teaching, editing, writing, reporting and new media skills.Furthermore, the institution was founded by Nelson poynter who producednewspapers for forty years in St. Petersburg Florida that reflected his beliefthat excellent journalism, published independently, could help a community prosperand a democracy flourish, So he founded Modern Media Institute in 1975 andupon his death his dream to have a school that would help working journalistsimprove their skills to the benefit of their communities has beenrealised. Thousands of journalists,teachers and members of the public have now come to Poynter to learn what makesthe best journalism work. They come to learn from Poynter’s faculty ofjournalism professionals and academics.
Inaddition, the poynter structure is based on poynter Board, Founder, Past’sPresidents and chairmen. The institute has an Administrative Department, theFaculty and staff. Neil Brown, former journalist at the Times, is the presidentof the poynter institute while Alexios Mantzarlisformer managing editor at Fact Check EU is the first and current director ofthe International Fact Checking Network. 1.6 TheIFCN five Principles and Signatory countries TheInternational Fact checking Network, was launched on September 15th 2016, it iscode of principles that has been developed because poynter believe that nonpartisanand transparent fact-checking can be a powerful instrument of accountabilityjournalism; especially in an era where unsourced or biased fact-checking can increasedistrust in the media and polluting public understanding. Moreover, theInternational Fact checking Network has come up with a code of fiveprinciples by which it operates and have been adopted by many countries who aresignatory to them, namely France, United kingdom, Africa, Netherland,Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Turkey, India, Norway, Croatia, USA,Serbia, Philippines, Nepal, Turkey, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Columbia, Bosni& Herzegovina.
The code of principles, offer conscientious practitionersprinciples to aspire journalist in their work and help countries andorganizations to combat fake news. Thefive codes are: Firstly A commitment tonon partisanship and fairness –which sets a standard for every factchecking, that is following the same process for every check and let evidencedictate conclusions. Secondly, acommitment to transparency of sources –Much detail is provided about the sourcesthat readers can verify the findings themselves and replicate the work.Thirdly, a commitment to transparency offunding and organization – poynter remains transparent about all of itsfunding sources and organizational structure.
Funders at any cost do notinfluence conclusions that are reached in reports. Fourthly, a commitment of transparency of methodology – methodology used in fact check areexplained and is transparent on why and how to fact check. And fifth, a commitment to open and honest corrections– poynter makes sure that all corrections done with any articles are clearly and transparently in line with thecorrections policy, and ensure that readers see the corrected version. 1.7 IFCN Projects, Events and ActivitiesMoreover, the IFCN also indulges and organise various activities,projects and events that targets journalism student, journalist and anyone inthe media field. It offers training inperson and online.
Courses such as “spotting the red flags: how to identifyinformation” provides an insight and skills needed for how to recognize the redflags in writing that require a closer look, Where to find the bestverification resources, both online and in print, how to determine whether aresource is reliable and What are best practices for using accuracy checks. Anothercourse provided is that of “Sharing the Facts: How a Hidden Code Can Boost YourFact-Checks” it is designed for journalists and developers at newsorganizations who currently fact-check claims by politicians or other publicfigures. Its objective is to how to use fact checking application and bestpractises to ensure fact checks are being displayed in the best possible way insearch results. In addition, The IFCN, advocates for more fact –checking,through an annual International Fact –Checking Day on every 2nd of April,promoted by the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter in partnershipwith fact-checking organizations around the world. The event is mediatised,promoted and videos uploaded on you tube. Another important event is that ofthe Global Fact 4, the annual summit of fact-checkers around the world thattook place July 5-7 2017 in Madrid, Spain, where fact-checkers from allcontinents meet to share experiences about evaluating public discourse andgetting closer to the truth. The summit also seek to serve journalists bybringing them information about the latest trends and formats, technology andother tools in order to raise theirstandards, help them reach wider audiences and consolidate themselves astrusted sources of information.
That way, they can contribute to thetransparency and quality of public discourse in their countries. 1.8 Facebookand Google Alexios Mantzarlis, the director of Poynter’s InternationalFact-Checking Network, criticizes facebook for a general lack of transparency thathinder the fact-checking operation. He noted, 1″We’resort of in the dark. We don’t know what is actually happening,” he said. “Thelevel of information that is being handed out is entirely insufficient . .
Thisis potentially the largest real-life experiment in countering misinformation inhistory. We could have been having an enormous amount of information and data.”2InMay 2016, the Pew Research Center released the results of a survey indicatingthat 62 percent of U.S. adults get news from social media, and 44 percent ofthose surveyed indicated that they specifically used Facebook to get news. As aresult, critics have argued that Facebook is becoming a key news informationsource for much of the American public and urged the social media site to takegreater responsibility in its role as a distributor.
Stuck between too manycontroversies, Facebook has finally made it a requirement to be a signatory onthe code of principles developed by the IFCN to become a Facebook fact-checker.On the other hand, Google is also taking its battle against misleadinginformation to the real world. The company has partnered with the InternationalFact-Checking Network and Google plans to work with the IFCN in three mainways: increasing the number of verified fact checkers in the world, expandingthe code of principles into new regions, and offering free fact-checking tools.For that first goal, Google plans to hold workshops, and provide coaching andfinancial assistance to new fact-checking organizations. The company also plans on translating theIFCN’s code of principles into 10 languages. On top of the free tools it’ll giveto IFCN members, Google will host training sessions and provide access to anengineering time bank. Volunteer engineers will have a chance to attend theIFCN’s annual Global Fact-Checking Summit, on a mission to help organizationsdevelop new lie-spotting software.
1.9 CanIFCN be an independent and realistic fact checker?The IFCN has received fundingfrom the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Duke Reporters’ Lab, the Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy,the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations and the Park Foundation.”However questions arise with regards to the donors who are an integral part ofthe New World Order. For example, Googledrives the transhumanist agenda, Bill Gates support vaccines and Gmo’s, GeorgeSoros (mastermanipulator behind the Ukraine coup of 2014, Black Lives Matter and othermovements to disrupt the law and socially engineer society) and Pierre Omidyar(current owner of PayPal connected to the Military Intelligence complex viaBooz Allen Hamilton). George Soros owns and funds a slew of treacherousNGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) such as the National Endowment forDemocracy and OpenSociety Foundations.So it becomes doubtful as to whether Fact-CheckingNetwork can be independent.
Moreover, manywould argue they can be independent if are granted with “editorialindependence” by their funders. But would they have the desire and ability tobecome arbiters of truth on massive and complex subjects like GMOs, the NewWorld Order, geo engineering, Tranhumanist? How are they going to “fact-check”statements like “GMOs are not dangerous to human health”, “vaccines are safeand effective”, “black military operations oversee mind control programs on thepublic” Since many current topics lead back to fundamental issues like these, itbecomes doubtful to how they possibly going to shed any light on these vasttopics. In addition, when going to be confronted with those kinds of issuesmentioned above, IFCN will have no choice than be the parrot of the standardnarrative on these topics and escape the scope, breadth and depth of vision andperception that comes from studying these topics in depth. 1.10Summary So far the International Fact checking Network remains one ofthe most influential and challenging fact checking network over the world. Itsdetermination and hardwork for fighting fake news has gone a long way.
NowadaysSocial media users have the opportunity to flag articles they think areintentionally false, and these articles will be screened using third-party factcheckers. Warning signs on articles such as disputed and fake tags wouldnegatively impact its rating score on social media making it visible to fewerpeople in their news feeds. Several applications detecting fake news sites arealso available to detect and recognize fake sites. These are now possiblebecause of the long fight of fact checkers that continuously monitor and putinto place policies that help to combat fake news. In addition, the IFCN can beseen to be very active in all its activities and events that it organises.
The staffs are former experienced and skilljournalist that are dedicated in training students and journalist to becomeeffective and ethical writers. Moreover, the five code of principles is animportant policy that have been adopted and adhered by many countries in theirlute against fake news. Critics have nonetheless raise awareness about thecredibility of IFCN With regards to its funders who have some controversies issues,but on the other hand, IFCN remains faithful in the fight against FakeNews. In addition, IFCN has been able toconvinced facebook and google to join the combat against fake news. DespiteCritics argue that fact-checkers are either left, liberal or progressive intheir political leanings that’s why they have all sorts of biases in theirviewpoints, some biases are nonethelessrelevant as it helps the truth to arise to the surface as not every readerwould become a fact –checker. Hence the best way to fight fake news iseducation. The only way people can knowthe truth is to read widely, inform themselves about the issues, discuss itover and over, get new perspectives, test things out in their own experienceand make up their own mind.
Hoax stories are annoying and clickbait headlinesare irritating, but at some point, readers will begin to see consciously choosewhich sites to read and which to shun. If a site keeps putting out lies andclickbait, at a certain point it will gain a negative reputation and getostracized. Furthermore, the government must also focus on education policy in orderto develop a literate society which will help people decipher between real andfake news.
Government can also introduce stricter regulations on media andindividuals sourcing fake news articles. Though it may cross toes with freedomof speech, it is imperative to have government backing for individuals to fightagainst defamation and control the spread of fake news. Government can imposefines on social media companies and websites those spread fake news, as thiswill force sourcing websites to impose verification checks and control thespread of fake news. 1.11 ConclusionTo combat Fake News, collectively, we have to grow up and not expect orcall for governments and other organizations like the InternationalFact-Checking Network to do our fact-checking for us. We have to do itourselves. It is part of our spiritual journey to be able to mature to thepoint where we can discern truth from lies. When enough of us can do that, theworld will know peace, for as Julian Assange says, “if lies are used to startwar, then truth can be used to start peace.’1 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/13/way-too-little-way-too-late-facebooks-fact-checkers-say-effort-is-failing2 https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/184712/2016%20Fall%20final%20to%20printer%20pdf.pdf?sequence=1=y