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Fact-checking AI-powered bots combat fake news

Publishing & Media

How does this non-profit help to protect the public against misinformation?

Spotted: As most of us are all too aware, the rise of generative AI has supercharged the growth of both disinformation and harmful online content. According to the Pew Research Centre, 64 per cent of American adults said ‘fake news’ caused confusion on basic facts, and this confusion and disinformation is increasingly seen as a danger to democratic systems.

One organisation working to combat this is Meedan, a non-profit focused on enabling access to reliable information. Meedan runs programmes that build capacity and digital literacy for news organisations and their audiences, primarily focused on major events such as elections, climate and public health emergencies, and armed conflicts.

Meedan builds open-source software that helps organisations, such as media outlets, conduct fact-checking and content annotation. For example, Meedan produces open-source software that allows users of WhatsApp and other platforms to forward suspicious messages to fact-checking conversational tipline bots that flag content as true, false, or misleading. The non-profit is currently working with more than 70 organisations in over 45 countries.

Current projects also include partnering with local communities to build AI models to distribute information literacy materials. It is also pursuing an initiative that studies online attacks against women and nonbinary people, as well as a programme to provide grassroots practitioners with funding, training, and networking to drive change. Meedan is also part of a coalition to strengthen the capacity to document, debunk, archive, and preserve critical information in Gaza.

As a non-profit, Meedan is largely donor- and grant-funded. For example, it recently received funding from the US National Science Foundation to develop AI tools to help Asian American and Pacific Islander communities look for phrases and topics associated with misinformation. The organisation is working to grow its capacity, with plans to implement election-monitoring initiatives in at least 18 countries by 2027.

Written By: Lisa Magloff




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