The State of Fact-Checking: Key Takeaways from the Panel

The State of Fact-Checking: Key Takeaways from the Panel

In the first panel of the POINT12, panelists covered the state of fact-checking. While these notes capture some critical discussions, it’s essential to acknowledge that the panel covered many more nuanced points and thought-provoking discussions, reflecting the complexity and urgency of the fact-checking mission.

Angie Holan: The Genesis and Challenges

Angie Holan, a prominent voice in the fact-checking community, highlighted the inception of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) in 2007. She emphasized that while misinformation is now widely recognized, there are two significant threats to the sustainability and efficacy of fact-checking:

  1. Media Ecosystem Sustainability: Fact-checkers often struggle with diversifying their revenue sources, which is crucial for their survival and independence.
  2. Cultural Loss of Critical Thinking: The pervasive decline in critical thinking skills poses a substantial challenge to the effectiveness of fact-checking efforts.

Holan also noted the growing hostility towards fact-checkers, particularly from far-right groups, and the unique adversities faced during the Trump administration. These attacks are not only online but sometimes manifest in physical threats.

Ms. Holan also added that Big tech platforms are retreating from journalism but not fact-checking (yet).

Tai Nalon: The Future Role of Fact-Checkers

Tai Nalon brought forward the idea that fact-checkers could play a crucial role in training artificial intelligence to qualify sources accurately. By acting as source curators, fact-checkers could enhance the reliability of AI-generated information.

Nalon also expressed concerns about the resilience of fact-checking efforts in future generations. While current fact-checkers have shown resilience, the sustainability of these efforts remains uncertain.

Tijana Cvjticanin: Regional Impacts and Global Challenges

Tijana Cvjticanin provided insights into the unique challenges faced in the Balkans and the EU. She pointed out that any significant event in the EU tends to have repercussions in the Balkan region, often adopting even the most outlandish developments.

Nalon added that implementing large fact-checking models in the global south, such as Brazil, is particularly costly, highlighting these regions’ financial and logistical challenges.

 

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