Univision News and Noticias Telemundo have joined FactCHAT, the first coalition of U.S. fact-checking organizations organized by the International Fact-checking Network (IFCN) at Poynter, to be part of and debunk misinformation during the 2020 electoral campaign, via a bilingual WhatsApp chatbot.
The 10 IFCN certified fact-checking platforms in the U.S. have created a database that allows their work to be translated into Spanish and published daily by the networks that serve the Hispanic community. The service is free for all WhatsApp users.
Noticias Telemundo, along with Univision Noticias, is publishing original stories in Spanish on FactChat and also translating content produced by other organizations participating in the project: PolitiFact, USA Today, The Dispatch, Lead Stories, FactCheck.org, AFP, The Washington Post Fact Checker, Check Your Fact, MediaWise and Science Feedback.
The WhatsApp chat allows users to interact with a bot and consult on the statements and data that matters most to them during this electoral season. WhatsApp is also providing financial support to help Hispanic media build or strengthen its fact-checking teams.
WhatsApp’s support helped Univision relaunch “elDetector,” which was born as the first data-checking site in Spanish in the U.S. in 2016. In addition to having new design and content, “elDetector” has new labels for classifying information, both political discourse and photo and video images. Users will know when a claim is: True, misleading, lacks context, there is not enough evidence to affirm or deny or is completely false.
Univision News also recently launched “Lupita and her magnifying glass,” a character who helps its audience identify misinformation on social media and gives simple tips and tools to verify the content, and an opinion column on disinformation by Cristina Tardáguila, associate director of IFCN.
As part of its efforts to counter election misinformation, Noticias Telemundo launched “T Verifica,” its new fact-checking platform, which will offer daily fact checks of statements by political candidates, social media speculation and rumors.
Telemundo says “T Verifica” will continuously monitor potentially false and disputed news and rumors circulating on social media and will also include explainer stories and fact checks on issues most critical to voters ahead of the November election.
Noticias Telemundo’s overall fact-checking efforts also include a partnership with PolitiFact, the website owned by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Last year, Noticias Telemundo and PolitiFact teamed up to start offering fact-checking in Spanish for use both online and on TV.
The stepped-up fact-checking is part of Telemundo’s “Decision 2020” initiative, a non-partisan multiplatform news and civic engagement effort aimed at providing Latinos with comprehensive information and resources on the 2020 election.