A Fact checking contest for social media ‘truthbuzz” aimed at finding new ways to help verified facts and reach the widest possible audience, has came up with some interesting data.
Organised by the International Centre for Journalists, the judging panel included Facebook, First Draft News, Fusion Media and Google News Lab.
The First place winner was an independent site devoted to fact checking Pagella Politica.
This team used a series of short and engaging videos which evaluate politicians’ claims by working out the math in chalk on a blackboard. When the vice president of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies said that more members of his political party had earned university degrees than their colleagues in rival parties, this one-minute timelapse video illustrated why that claim was false.
The team found that these videos were shared more widely and reached a broader audience than long, fact-checking articles. Other organizations saw the videos and got in touch about potential partnerships.
Moral of the story: videos are particularly useful even for complex content such as debunking false claims. Make your own version of a freehand video on blackboard, in timelapse.
Second place was an independent non profit news organisation Chequeado from Argentina.
Argentina used humorous animated caricatures, tailor-made for social media platforms, to fact-check the claims made by politicians.
These videos put verified facts in front of both loyal and new audiences, and got them sharing the content on social media.
Moral of the story: The team found in order to be effective one editor was needed to oversee the project from beginning to end. This ensured a consistent voice.
Third place was tied with Mexico and Georgia.
The team from Mexico used a social media campaign that deployed video, graphics, illustrations and GIFs to show whether a particular politician has kept campaign promises.
For example, when the governor of the country’s most-populous state promised to provide free education to the state’s indigenous population, this video showed that fewer than 15 percent of that demographic group received the promised scholarships.
This campaign actually forced the state government which had earlier claimed to have given about 12,000 scholarships to students with indigenous heritage, to revise their number, reducing it to half.
Moral of the Story: The Mexico team found that if your budget is limited or your staff is small, bring together people from multiple news outlets and civil society organizations to tackle a shared project and broaden your project’s reach on social media. Collaboration is key.
Georgia was represented by ForSet a non profit org that specialises in comms for social issues using data, design and technology.
This team used a mobile gaming app, now in the prototype stage, for Android devices. When players successfully tell fact from fiction, they’ll catch ducks and advance to more difficult levels in the game. The game, “Quack Hunt,” is a take on the classic Nintendo video game “Duck Hunt.”
Moral of the story: Collaboration was vital to utilise designers and game developers to create an educational and entertaining product.
ICFJ aiims to promote professionalism journalism to meet the urgent need for reliable information.