Date
22 October 2019
Fighting misinformation and fake news on the Web has become more daunting for authorities around the world. Photo: Bloomberg
Fighting misinformation and fake news on the Web has become more daunting for authorities around the world. Photo: Bloomberg

Fact-checking 2.0

The 6th Global Fact-Checking Summit, a three-day event that was held in Cape Town, South Africa last month, saw participants from across the world hold in-depth discussions on ways to implement fact-checking and curb misinformation in the post-truth era.

Delegates were told that “fact-checking 1.0” is no longer enough to change the society, and that “fact-checking 2.0” has now become a new priority, which is to be realized through technology and advocacy of new policies.

“Fact-checking 1.0” dealt with clarification of false information to the public at the earliest. However, due to the overwhelming volume of misinformation in recent years, even when the debunking is done, the public would still continue to believe the fabrication out there.

“Fact-checking 2.0” will add in various actions to facilitate rectifying at the source of misinformation, monitoring of clarification work and eventually, shaping and fostering the habit of fact-checking in society. Implementation of fact-checking 2.0 comprises the following four stages:

First, fact-checking organizations will reach out to platforms that are spreading misinformation and see if they are willing to rectify their published content. If the platforms are non-responsive or refuse to correct the fake news, persistent and stronger requests will be made, while complaints will be made to relevant authorities.

Second, with the help of technology, efforts will be made to trace the exact origin of misinformation, especially to find out whether misinformation usually come from certain users or regions, and whether there are common spreading patterns.

Third, designated “intervention points” will be defined. At these intervention points, clarifying facts would be injected.

Finally, research institutions and regulators should be set up around the world. Serving as consumer councils that specialize in information, the agencies will educate the public on how not to be deceived by fake news, while raising their alertness when surfing the web.

People will be made to contemplate the consequences of “picking up misinformation just for fun”.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 25

Translation by Connie Li

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RC

HKEJ contributor