Colombia -Impact of Fact-Checking During Upcoming Elections. 

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Location: Bogota – Colombia 
Language: Spanish
Duration: 00:03:39
Source: A24 subscribers 
Restrictions: A24 clients
Dateline: 07/04/2022 

Storyline

Seventy per cent of Latin American people cannot correctly identify whether a news story is true or fake, according to a study published by the cyber security company Kaspersky. The study said that traditional news media (television and radio stations, newspapers), is less credible as new media outlets appear every day. In Colombia where the presidential election due to be held on May 29th, fake news and misinformation spreads more rapidly on some kind of social media platform. But now that democracy in Colombia is threatened by populism, political polarization and misinformation, fact-checking is essential with journalists are working day and night to verify information everywhere. Colombiachek’s director Jeanfreddy Gutiérrez said the country witnessed an explosion of misinformation over the past 72 hours. He urged politicians not to spread misinformation and lies since they there are fact checkers who provided audiences with truths on any statements. For his part, Jose Felipe Sarmiento, deputy editor of fact checking organization Colombiacheck, called for training the audiences to spare the fact-checkers tons of work, avoiding misleading information that sometimes is obviously fake. Vox pop Carlos Hernandez said individuals should follow a diversity of news sources, and be skeptical of what they read and watch.Misinformation and fake news have played a significant role in Colombia’s 2018 parliamentary and presidential election campaigns.

Shotslist

– Vox pop Carlos Hernandez while getting a shoeshine.

“Each person must be responsible with what he hears and what he sees, and not take things too seriously, whether they are good or bad. One thing is what we read (in the news outlets) and other is the actual reality”. 

– Interview with Jeanfreddy Gutierrez, Colombiacheck Director

“We have witnessed in the last 72 hour an explosion of deceiving messages, misinformation, new misleading web portals with the aesthetic of new outlets with opinion sections, with tendentious narratives, with tricky information and lies”. 

– Interview with Jeanfreddy Gutierrez, Colombiacheck Director

“Now politicians know that they are not so free to deliver some specific narratives of misinformation and lies, because there are fact checkers that publish investigations fact-checking their speech and audiences take that to consideration”. 

– Interview with Jeanfreddy Gutierrez, Colombiacheck Director

It is common that people who have been submitted to a fact-checking process complain and demand amendments. But they have also pursuited harassment campaigns of persecution, sometimes with xenophobic messages or personal remarks totally unrelated to our labor”. 

– Interview with Jeanfreddy Gutierrez, Colombiacheck Director

“I consider there must be intolerance against misinformation. Misinformation is poisonous, it really can take people to make bad choices and it has consequences”.

– Interview with Jose Felipe Sarmiento, deputy editor of fact checking organization Colombiacheck 

“With the pass of time we have developed more techniques and prioritized more on social media information which is published anonymously and not just verifying what public personas say, which was the idea we have at our beginnings.” 

– Interview with Jose Felipe Sarmiento, deputy editor of fact checking organization Colombiacheck 

“In this ocean of information that we have, evidently the training of the audiences in general could spare the fact-checkers tons of work, avoiding misleading information that sometimes is obviously fake, but for a lack of basic knowledge they end up becoming viral. Things like photos that, if people see carefully, they would realize they are from other countries and other historical times”. 

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