Meta has teamed up with the Press Trust of India (PTI) to mitigate viral misinformation on its platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Threads. As part of the collaboration, PTI will become an independent fact-checker for the company and help identify, review and evaluate misinformation. With this move, Meta has now partnered with 12 fact-checking agencies in India and has content coverage in 16 Indian languages. It should be noted that the announcement came just days before India’s general elections began.

In an April 1 press release, Meta announced the partnership and said, “Today we are expanding our third-party fact-checking program in India to include the Press Trust of India (PTI), a dedicated fact-checking unit within the news channel’s editorial department. The partnership will enable PTI to identify, review and rate disinformation content on Meta platforms.”

With this partnership, Meta now has 12 fact-checking partners in India, including AFP-Hub, The Quint, NewsChecker, India Today Fact Check, Factly and more. The social media giant said this has now made India the country with the most third-party fact-checking partners globally on Meta. The company also has extensive regional language content coverage with 16 Indian languages ​​covered by partners besides English, including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and more.

Meta’s fact-checking program was launched in 2016 to tackle the problem of viral misinformation, and specifically hoaxes that have no basis in fact. Third-party fact-checking partners monitor such viral content and identify, rate and review it. Every time a fact-checker rates a piece of content as false, redacted or partially false, the company claims to reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it. Additionally, it also notifies users attempting to share such content of the fact checker’s rating and adds a warning label that links to the partner’s article with more information on the topic.

The company emphasized that it cooperates only with agencies that are certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). Meta now has nearly 100 fact-checking partners worldwide that review and rate disinformation in more than 60 languages.

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