Tools and Resources for better fact-checking in cross-border collaboration

By Andreas Rossbach.

There are a variety of fact-checking tools and organisations that help journalists verify information. We will focus on tools in this section, but if you want to explore and find out more about organizations, check out the website of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).

No matter what tool an individual journalist or team of journalists use, it is advisable they sign up for the International Fact-Checking Network's code of principles. The International Fact-Checking Network is a unit of the Poynter Institute dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide.

To spot erroneous or misleading information, ask yourself three simple questions:

  1. What is(are) the primary source(s)?
  2. What is missing (all sorts of aspects that clarify the context)?
  3. How do you feel (not always reliable of course, but often a bad feeling can be an indicator, for example if something sounds too ridiculous to be true)?

You may not have a member on your team solely dedicated to fact-checking, but that doesn’t mean you're on your own. The latest free fact-checking tools combine artificial intelligence and crowd-sourcing to help reporters confirm the accuracy and authenticity of their content. 1

Here is a list of tools that will help you to (1) verify content and sources, (2) ensure the accuracy of your stories, (3) help you avoid amplifying fabricated news and propaganda, (4) add context, detail, history and transparency to your stories, and (5) help you find clues and corroboratie evidence to verify images, videos, and information.

1Additional optional recommended reading:

General resources and tools for verification

Verification Handbook: Compiled by journalists from the BBC, Storyful, ABC and more, offers a comprehensive guide to verifying user-generated content during emergencies, disasters and other breaking news events.

Harvard’s Journalist’s Resource: Fake News and Fact-Checking—Seven journal articles that examine fake news from multiple angles, including what makes fact-checking most effective and the potential use of crowdsourcing to help detect false content on social media.

First Draft News Verification Toolbox: A new website dedicated to providing free training resources for verifying eyewitness accounts and social media posts. When you register an account, you can collect these resources into “packs,” making it easy to locate and share the information you need at a moment’s notice.

Google Factcheck Explorer: Look up and see a timeline of current fact-checks on news stories in Google search engine. Nutrition description on products make it easier to understand what products contain. Newstrition labels describe news. The App offers a Newstrition process to distinguish between real and junk news, and rate your opinion on all news online. Within Apple News, Google News, Facebook, Twitter, your mobile or laptop browser, or any other news app, just tap Share, and then Newstrition, to access their fact-checking tools.

Disinformation Essential Twitter list: A twitter list of experts and organisations in the field of fact checking.

Tools and Resources for Social Media

Big InVID Fake News Debunker: Just as its name suggests, this plugin is a go-to for journalists keen to ‘debunk’ if video content is not original. Using the ‘Analysis’ tab, you can check the location and time of YouTube and Facebook videos. It also has options for Twitter video search, reverse-image search options and metadata summaries.

Reuters News Tracer: This tool has enabled journalists to spot and validate real news in real time on Twitter.

WhoPostedWhat: A free, non-public Facebook keyword search for people who work in the public interest. It allows you to search keywords on specific dates.

Plugins and Extensions for Verification

GoogleDoc: This GoogleDoc provides a list of essential plugins and tools for general OSINT/online research work.

DomainBigData: Domain and online investigative tool. Chrome browser extension that serves as an AI fact-checking tool.

About The Author

Andreas Rossbach

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