And Factcheck.org wasn’t the only fact-checking organization to try to contain a widely spread falsehood in the past week.
On May 7, Estadão Verifica, a fact-checking site based in Brazil, debunked a false story that claimed that cuts in the federal universities’ budget were due to “due to irregularities in the accountability of educational institutions.” That fact check went massively viral, accumulating more than 46,000 engagements on Facebook — but so did the hoax, with nearly 150,000.
Estadão reported that the false story, which the Jornal da Cidade Online retracted after being debunked, had also been flagged by readers on WhatsApp. Rumors and hoaxes spread widely on the private messaging app, whose encryption makes it impossible for journalists to analyze what content is being shared and how many people have seen it.
This kind of misinformation translation happens frequently. In February, an anti-vaccine conspiracy theory went viral on Facebook in France only one week after (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact debunked the same hoax in the United States. The only difference was the language.
Over the past few years, several collaborative fact-checking projects have launched with the goal of consolidating resources to debunk falsehoods that spread across borders. CrossCheck, a project from First Draft, was among the first. More recently, 19 newsrooms in the European Union teamed up to fact-check misinformation about this month’s parliamentary elections.
“Hoaxes and misleading information travel easily across European borders,” Jules Darmanin, a French journalist who
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/misinformation-transcends-platforms-languages-and-countries-how-can-fact-checkers-stop-it/