WFY Today

Tackling Misinformation Of The Promising Indian General Elections

Google has long backed this effort by making investments in partnerships, resources, and features that might improve people’s ability to assess internet content. As part of our ongoing effort to empower the news ecosystem to counteract misinformation, we are supporting Shakti, the India Election Fact-Checking Collective. This group of Indian news publishers and fact-checkers collaborates to help identify online misinformation early on, including deepfakes, and to establish a shared resource that news publishers can use to address misinformation issues on a large scale.
DataLEADS, in association with the Misinformation Combat Alliance, The Quint, VishvasNews, Boom, Factly, and Newschecker, and with backing from the Google News Initiative, will spearhead Shakti, a pan-India network.

The project’s main goal is to link independent fact checkers and Indian language publishers so they can work together to share fact checks, research materials, and alerts on deepfakes and viral misinformation related to elections. This will save a significant amount of time, starting today and ending when the country’s general elections are over. The dissemination and amplification of fact-checks in several Indian languages and media formats, such as videos, would be facilitated by collaborating news publishers, guaranteeing a broader spectrum of language users and varied audiences throughout the nation.

Furthermore, in order to expedite verification procedures, the project will teach news organisations and fact-checkers about deepfake identification, advanced fact-checking methodology, and the newest Google tools, such as the Fact Check Explorer.
The Fact-Checking Collective will scale the initiative to reach most of the nation after this launch and keep adding more partners.

You can register here if you are a news publisher who would like to be a member of the Fact-Checking Collective and empower your audience and newsroom. The publishers who create original news in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, and Marathi will remain a top priority for the Fact-Checking Collective.
Syed Nazakat, CEO and founder of DataLEADS: “We are thrilled to be collaborating on Shakti with India’s top news publishers and fact-checking groups, particularly in light of the growing use of deepfakes for misinformation. With the elections quickly approaching and a complicated information environment, the Collective is an essential intervention in creating a strong fact-checking ecosystem to protect democratic processes. Building this significant coalition with the Google News Initiative is an honour and a source of great excitement for us.”

“In an era where digital information flows faster than ever, the need to empower people with credible and trustworthy information has never been more critical,” says Bharat Gupta, CEO of Jagran New Media and President of the Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA). Through a strategic relationship between MCA and the Google News Initiative and DataLEADS, people from a variety of backgrounds will be empowered and provided with reliable, fact-checked information at the local level, enabling them to make the best decisions possible during and after the elections. The goal of MCA’s fact-checking team is to disarm and weaken the agents of misinformation by utilising practical technologies in conjunction with high-quality journalism to combat new challenges to democracy.”

With the help of the GNI India Training Network, PollCheck, Data Accelerator, and Data Dialogue, we have supported the training of over 65,000 journalists, media educators, and journalism students in over 15 languages since 2018. These efforts equip them with the digital tools and skills necessary to uncover, validate, and present compelling stories while addressing the constantly changing threat of misinformation. The Fact-Checking Collective is an extension of these ongoing efforts.

Google and YouTube established the USD 13.2 million Global Fact Check Fund to support fact-checking organisations around the world, including those in India. This initiative has improved local and regional media organisations’ capacity to provide powerful, high-calibre fact-checking content. The list of grantees is available here.
We keep working with and supporting nationally recognised media literacy initiatives like Sach Ke Saathi and FactShala, which assist marginalised populations—youth, the elderly, and people living in rural areas—in developing the critical thinking abilities needed to distinguish real news from false information.

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