Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD), a leading media development organisation in Pakistan focusing on Media and Information Literacy, digital rights, and media sustainability, has launched ‘Facter,’ a collaborative fact-checking tool for newsrooms, in Islamabad on 2nd February 2024. Designed to counter misinformation, Facter leverages technology to aggregate verified content from various news sources and its own monitoring and fact-checking team, supporting newsrooms in delivering accurate information.
Asad Baig, the Director and Founder of MMfD stated, “Facter is designed to empower credible newsrooms against disinformation. In the age of digital misinformation, our primary challenge is sustainability, both for fact-checking operations and newsrooms. Facter is already being adopted by more than 10 mainstream newsrooms, and we aim to leverage these collaborations to combat disinformation effectively.”
To foster sustainable collaborations, Facter functions as both a tool and a platform, streamlining fact-checking processes for newsrooms efficiently.
Asad Baig emphasised, “Facter also aligns with MMfD’s long-term goal of enabling newsrooms to enhance web traffic and digital revenue through the publication of verified, credible information. We have successfully piloted similar partnerships with news organisations and are looking to expand with Facter.”
In contrast to traditional fact-checking services, Facter exclusively provides content to newsrooms. The tool is currently deployed in 10+ national and regional newsrooms across Pakistan.
As Asad Baig explained, “At a technical level, Facter operates by curating information processed by MMfD’s monitoring team and credible media outlets. Trends Monitor, MMfD’s technical toolkit and methodology developed for digital investigations, is employed to monitor social media platforms for mis/disinformation. The analysed content is categorised as suspected information, misinformation (fact-checked by MMfD), misleading information (fact-checked by MMfD), or verified information.”
Additionally, Facter connects newsrooms to an extensive stream of information related to their investigations by aggregating relevant content published by various local fact-checking and media organisations.
Key Features of Facter
● A constantly updated list of currently circulating misinformation on social media platforms, fact-checked and processed by the MMfD team, and categorised accordingly
● A constantly updated list of fact-checks and related news content published by leading credible newsrooms
● Search functionality across all categories
● A request feature, where newsrooms can submit an information item for fact-checking and investigation
● A tagging feature, operationalised through a browser plugin, that will allow newsrooms to tag suspect information content for processing
All content produced by MMfD will be open-source and available for newsrooms to use however they wish, including publishing, re-processing, or simply informing their sourcing.