By: Team Logically Facts
November 8 2023
MCA announces the launch of its Fact-Checking Network for Indian fact-checkers. (Source: MCA/Screenshot)
As mis/disinformation in India continues to surge online, the Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA) — a cross-industry effort — has launched an independent Fact-Checking Network (FCN) to develop better standards and best practices for fact-checking organizations in India. The FCN will be a “multi-stakeholder initiative that builds public trust” and “can become an integral part of comprehensive strategies to address online misinformation and disinformation,” a statement issued by the MCA stated.
The FCN has a Code of Principles — tailor-made for India's digital users — to ensure transparency and trust and to provide Indian fact-checkers with the guidance they need to ensure their work is of an unimpeachable standard.
The Code of Principles includes:
Fact-checking organizations that join this network must ensure their fact-checks are easily accessible and not paywalled. They must also be available for use for non-commercial purposes like awareness campaigns under a Creative Commons license. “Organizations will also need to ensure a commitment to privacy and safety, including considerations under Indian law for protecting the identities of children and victims of heinous crimes, as well as protecting personal data under the Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023,” the statement added.
Organizations that sign up to the Code of Principles will become a part of the standard framework, which is overseen by the FCN Board. These organisations will be designated as ‘verified signatories.’ Any fact-checking organization that publishes fact-checks relevant to India, or any of the 22 languages recognized by the Indian Constitution, will be eligible to apply to become a verified signatory.
The FCN Board will have the following duties:
To help weed out misinformation on a timely basis and to make this network more accessible to digital users, the alliance has also launched an email service (firstname.lastname@example.org), where people can send ‘potential or suspected misinformation’ or fake news as it is popularly known) for fact-checking by these recognized organizations.
For more details about the Fact-Checking Network, one can visit the official website of the MCA here.
Along with Logically Facts, 15 organizations are a part of the Misinformation Combat Alliance.