Technology, an ally of journalism against disinformation


  • Groups of verifiers explain what systems they have used to try to stop the spread of hoaxes about cases such as covid or the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Only five years ago the organizations of checkers dedicated to uncovering disinformation they were something unusual in the Spanish media ecosystem. Since then, their work has been increasingly in demand due to the proliferation of all kinds of hoaxes and half-truths that they have found in the social media an amplification channel. The pandemic of covid-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine are proof of this, and both cases have also reached the Mobile World Congress (MWC).

“The pandemic has taught us that the information is serious and that it is greater the more fear and uncertainty there is,” he explained. Desiree Garciaresponsible of EFE Verifiesin an event organized on Tuesday by Digital Future Society, the program promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation together with Mobile World Capital Barcelona.

In their early years, groups of ‘fact checking‘ What newthralEFE Verifies and Verify They were mainly dedicated to verifying and contrasting the statements of politicians, but the coronavirus health crisis triggered concern about a scientific issue about which little was known. “With the pandemic we saw that we lacked mechanisms. The mobile channels through which users contacted us were filled with doubts, so we created a bot capable of identifying and responding to up to 30% of those& rdquor ;, he explains Ruben Migueztechnological manager of Newtral.

Technology against hoaxes

Immersed in a sea of ​​constant misinformation, they have needed to use technology as an ally. Thus, they have used tools of Artificial intelligence (AI) and of deep learning to automate the monitoring of social networks and the detection of potential viral hoaxes. “There is so much misinformation that we have to do a preliminary filtering that allows us to save the process & rdquor ;, he explains lorenzo marinico-director of Verificat.cat.

Related news

More than 60 groups of ‘fact-checkers’ from more than 50 countries -including the Spanish cursed.es– have launched a database that collects and denies hoaxes circulating in connection with the war between Russia and Ukraine. The project also puts on the map in which countries these information manipulations have been detected, with Spain being the second most affected country, with a total of 69 false news, only behind India.

Technology is key to hoax detection, but there is still room for improvement. “We have to detect them before they go viral so that the verification has as much impact as the lie, which is always more attractive than the reality,” García warns. Be that as it may, Míguez is clear that these tools will be key to combating information manipulation that is getting worse: “with manual verification we will not win.”


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