The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) has awarded $450,000 in grant support to DUBAWA and 10 other fact-checking platforms across the globe.
Through this funding, IFCN, in partnership with Meta, will provide funded fact-checking organisations with resources to fight against the spread of misinformation threatening more than 100 billion messages daily.
11 initiatives from eight nations including India, Spain, Nigeria, Georgia, Bolivia, Italy, Indonesia, and Jordan, are supported by the $450k award to be distributed among the selected fact-checking organisations for ‘Spread the Facts Program.’
The Programme Manager at the IFCN, Ferdi Özsoy, in a post announcing the grant noted that with support from WhatsApp, the Spread the Facts Grant Program will give fact-checking organizations that are signatories to the IFCN code of principles and resources to de-escalate the harm of viral misinformation on WhatsApp and improve the quality of public debate.
IFCN stated that selections were made by a six-member committee made up of experts and educators in journalism, mass communications and media studies from around the world.
Projects were evaluated based on the applicants’ potential to show that they could expand the reach of fact-checking, improve its scope, effectiveness, or procedure, and introduce fresh approaches and technologies to combat disinformation to use technology to foster fact-checking collaboration across newsrooms.
The grants are in two categories– launch track and scale track. Four organisations are in the launch category looking to establish a presence and/or increase their fact-checking capacity on the WhatsApp Business App. Seven organizations in the scale track are already using the WhatsApp API and are focused on enhancing their fact-checking.
In the Launch track, DUBAWA was awarded $25,000 presented for its project, “Going Downstream: A WhatsApp Focused Fact-Checking Intervention.” The project is aimed at using WhatsApp to reach constituencies in Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone with two-minute audio fact-check reports in indigenous languages (Twi, Hausa, Krio, and Igbo).
The goal of DUBAWA’s project is to extend the reach of verified information to neglected constituencies in the fight against the spread of misinformation and disinformation on WhatsApp by using indigenous language audio.
Other organisations in the launch track include Factcheck.ge awarded $25,000 for FactCheck Georgia on WhatsApp; Bolivia Verifica awarded $25,000 for Truths – Sharing fact checks via WhatsApp; Fatabyyano awarded $25,000 for Misinformation on WhatsApp across MENA region.
The scale track includes Liputan6 (Indonesia), Maldita.es (Spain), EFE Verifica (Spain), Facta.news (Italy), Boom (India), News checker in (India), and Vishvas News (India), all awarded $50,000 each.