Press Release: Happy Fact-Checking Day! #factcheckingday

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Press Release: Happy Fact-Checking Day! #factcheckingday

Lead Stories is happy to support Fact-Checking Day 2019!

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 2, 2019) - In most of the world, April 1 is a day for fools. April 2
is a day for facts. Today is International Fact-Checking Day, and the Poynter Institute's
International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) will once again coordinate activities and amplify
resources that empower global citizens of all ages to sort fact from fiction.

poynter_2019_fact checking day_BANNERS-04.jpg

"In our interconnected society, misinformation knows no borders," said Baybars Örsek, the new
director of the IFCN, which Poynter founded in 2015 to research, teach, convene and fund the
growing number of fact-checkers around the world. "With online conspiracies fueling violence in
India and Brazil and disinformation campaigns targeting elections in the European Union and
the United States, fact-checking must expand to every corner of the earth. But fact-checkers
can't do it alone. International Fact-Checking Day is all about teaching the tools and methods
that fact-checkers use to fight for the truth to the average person so they can be more critical
consumers of information."

The hub for International Fact-Checking Day activities is While
fact-checkers can fine-tune their skills with tip sheets and students can take a "Guess the Fake"
quiz or enroll in a hands-on course, is particularly geared toward
educators. Teachers can download a lesson plan in four languages and connect with
fact-checkers through the new, interactive EduCheckMap.

Published by Chequeado, the minisite charts 170 resources in 15 languages from 57 active
fact-checking-related platforms. The goal of EduCheckMap is to showcase the sheer bulk and
variety of educational efforts related to fact-checking around the world and share them with

"IFCN believes fact-checkers alone cannot solve the misinformation problem," said Cristina
Tardáguila, IFCN associate director. "EduCheckMap demonstrates that there are fact-checkers
around the world who are ready and willing to work with educators to teach the next generation
to be their own fact-checkers."

The mission of empowering young people through information literacy is central to another
Poynter fact-checking initiative: MediaWise.

MediaWise is part of the Google News Initiative and funded by Its goal is to teach 1
million teenagers how to spot misinformation through a new Stanford History Education Group
curriculum, in-school events, partnerships with social media influencers and a first-of-its-kind
teen fact-checking network.

MediaWise celebrates International Fact-Checking Day by releasing a new video from YouTube
Creator Mark Watson of Soldier Knows Best about how to use technology to decipher fact from
fiction. This video joins other MediaWise collaborations with John Green of Crash Course and
Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day.

MediaWise will also be featured on Snapchat with an international "Our Story" organized by
PBS NewsHour's Student Reporting Labs. Lester Holt, as the first MediaWise Ambassador, will
appear on the NBC Snapchat show "Stay Tuned" with anchor Savannah Sellers to teach teens
how to identify native advertising and use lateral reading to cross-reference information.

Poynter's third fact-checking arm is PolitiFact, the largest political fact-checking organization in
the United States. PolitiFact will host an AMA on Reddit at 12 p.m. Eastern to answer questions
about facts in politics and discuss PolitiFact's plans to cover election 2020.

Reporters for all three Poynter fact-checking initiatives -- IFCN, MediaWise and PolitiFact --
will come together at 2 p.m. Eastern for a Facebook Live interview with Poynter senior vice
president Kelly McBride. As the new Craig Newmark Chair at the Center for Ethics and
Leadership, McBride will ask about the ethics of fact-checking and take viewers
behind-the-scenes of the world headquarters for fact-checking. Facebook users will also be able
to ask the fact-checkers questions about their process, the IFCN and more.

"Poynter's mission to uphold core journalism tenets like accountability, verification and
transparency mandates that we lead the fight against misinformation," said McBride. "And
nowhere else in the world confronts the issue the way that Poynter does. I look forward to
spotlighting our three distinct fact-checking initiatives. They target different audiences but share
challenges, standards and a higher purpose: creating a shared basis of fact so citizens can
make informed decisions about their lives, leaders and laws."
Visit for resources and follow activities around the world using

  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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