5 takeaways from Collaborative Fact Checking 101 (in English)

Dorothy Hernandez (@dorothy_lynn_h), a volunteer with the ONA Resource Team, compiled these key moments from the ONA20 session on Oct. 7, 2020. To view a recording of the session, register for on-demand access to the ONA20 archive. Session participants included:

5 key takeaways:

  1. If you are trying to have more of an impact on the people you serve, meet them where they are and how they access information; don’t expect them to be on platforms that you expect. For example, Colombiacheck’s audience mostly consumes fact checks via mobile phone vs desktop (90% vs 10%).
  2. Even though much of journalism is currently internet-centric, don’t forget about the offline world. Sebastian is interested in exploring conversations that people are actually having offline. And someone asked Pablo: “How do you do fact checking with people who don’t even have access to the internet?” Laura also added that journalists sometimes don’t think about that because they assume everyone is like journalists i.e. has internet access.
  3. Find ways to learn from failures from last year to improve collaborative projects. “We try to figure out what’s the best thing to do from each partner, and not necessarily ask everyone to do exactly the same,” says Laura.
  4. Measuring impact better: Don’t just do fact checking and leave it at that — “we just think it’s good because we’re fact checking but we are not specifically great in terms measuring the actual impact of what we do, whether it’s qualitative or quantitative more expertise based,” says Sebastian.
  5. What tools and softwares do these large-scale collaboratives use? Many use free tools like Google Drive, Slack, and Trello for collaboration and communication. For social media monitoring, Vasumo and Crowdtangle. Others have custom-built tools. But you don’t need expensive or fancy tech to do this work.

Memorable/tweetable quotes:

  • On the number of partners: “Less partners and more clarity, I think that this notion of having as much partners as we can, if we can’t handle them. It’s a problem.” —Sebastian
  • Chequeado worked with two academics who interviewed 3,000 people in Argentina. After analyzing the data from social accounts, they found that people don’t necessarily change their mind after reading something on Twitter or something like that. But after the fact checks came out, they changed their behavior, Laura says: “During the last election in Argentina, after they published the fact check, the number of people that [consume] the content but decide not to share it because they have a doubt increased.”