NewsMobile along with its tech partner FakeNet AI at the University of California, Berkeley, were declared winners of a global innovation challenge that focussed on fact-checking. NewsMobile was one of the handful of global organisations that won the challenge, and the only ones from India. The challenge focused on how technology can improve fact-checking, in round 2 of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative.
“The winners were chosen from a list of 64 proposals and will split a total of $450,000, made possible by a partnership between the International Fact-Checking Network and the Facebook,” a statement on Poynter’s website read.
The official handle of International Fact-Checking Network tweeted the names of the winners of the second round of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative.
The 2nd round of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative, a partnership with @Facebook, has 5 winners! Congratulations, @AFPFactCheck + @CERTHellas; @Colcheck + @ourdotnews; @NewsMobileIndia + @FakeNetAI; @LeadStoriesCom + NR8; @PesaCheck + @UW_iSchool 👉 https://t.co/brsLs9jvaa pic.twitter.com/XXDyyrrwtP
— International Fact-Checking Network (@factchecknet) September 28, 2020
IFCN Director Baybars Örsek said, “We are committed to supporting innovative research and practices around fact-checking to expand the horizons of our reach and impact for a better information ecosystem.” He added that “The second round of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative with Facebook will provide the resources and network to pursue this goal.”
“This global collaborative project to detect deep fakes will help NewsMobile and Fakenet AI solve one of the biggest challenges in the misinformation genre that of deep fakes, and we are excited to work with our partners IFCN, Facebook and Fakenet AI. Our winning partnership also strengthens Indo-US cooperation in technology and innovation. At NewsMobile we have focussed on innovation and this is another milestone in our journey as an independent fact-checker and tech-based mobile content platform,” Saurabh Shukla, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NewsMobile said.
NewsMobile Editor-in-Chief, Saurabh Shukla thanked the team led by International Fact-Checking Network and Facebook, for reposing their faith in NewsMobile.
Thanks for reposing faith in team @NewsMobileIndia @factchecknet @facebook, innovation is key to fighting the scourge of misinformation, and congrats to our fellow fact checkers who won this innovation round and our partners at @FakeNetAI
— Saurabh Shukla सौरभ शुक्ल (@isaurabhshukla) September 28, 2020
FakeNetAI is excited to partner with Facebook, IFCN and NewsMobile to incorporate our technology into the fact-checking process, enabling the fact-checkers to quickly detect deep fakes and prevent them from causing harm,” said Raymond Lee, CEO, FakeNetAI.
“This second round features five partnerships between IFCN Code of Principles Signatories and outside companies and universities expanding the fact-checking community to welcome ideas from other fields of expertise,” a statement on Poynter’s website read.
The problem of deep fakes has emerged as a major challenge in the US especially in the run-up to the elections and in countries like India too it is growing. Deep fakes involve altering a video and a morphed image is put out which is often used for misinformation and is difficult to detect. The innovation by NewsMobile and Fakenet AI will create a unique product to detect these deep fakes, which can be used by the fact-checking community.
The mission of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative is to support innovation projects, new formats, and technologies that will help benefit the broader global fact-checking ecosystem.