Facebook Journalism Project announces Accelerator Challenge for fact-checking organizations

The Facebook Journalism Project announced its first Accelerator Challenge for its fourteen fact-checking partners from across the world. The Facebook Accelerator is a global business training program that was launched in 2018 to help local news publishers thrive and build sustainable businesses.

Organizations from around the world have been selected to participate in a 10-week training program designed to help build engaged and loyal audiences. This Accelerator Challenge intends to bring fact-checking organizations together to innovate, learn from experts and peers, and collaborate on new strategies to improve their business both on and off Facebook.

“In the fight against misinformation, we know that it’s important not only to reduce the spread of misleading content but also to elevate accurate information. The Accelerator will enable us to support our independent fact-checking partners in this mission as they seek to reach wider audiences and connect deeply with their readers,” said Keren Goldshlager, News Integrity Partnerships Lead at Facebook.

The Accelerator program is led by Blue Engine Collaborative, a consortium of mission-driven consultants and advisors focused on driving digital audience growth and revenue, founded by Tim Griggs, a former New York Times and Texas Tribune executive. Sessions will include lessons on how to develop products and strategies that bring readers back to the quality analysis and fact-checking provided by the program’s participants.

The Accelerator Challenge for fact-checkers is built on four key pillars – virtual workshops, weekly calls with an expert coach, funding to execute projects, building a community of shared practice in which people work together.

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The fourteen third-party fact-checkers are based in different parts of the world:

  1. Maldita (Spain)
  2. Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism (Latvia)
  3. Poligrafo (Portugal)
  4. Faktograf (Croatia)
  5. Ecuador Chequea (Ecuador)
  6. Chequeado (Argentina)
  7. Pesa Check (Kenya)
  8. Fatabyyano (Jordan)
  9. NewsMobile (India)
  10. BOOM (India)
  11. Vera Files (The Philippines)
  12. Taiwan FactCheck Center (Taiwan)
  13. Politifact (US)
  14. The Dispatch (US)

The platform has been under fire multiple times for the spread of misinformation and rumours. With the increasing problem of fake news, Facebook has been working on various fact-checking programs, claiming to have contributed USD 84 million towards this cause.