Welcome to 'year of fact-checking'

Welcome to 'year of fact-checking'

Campaign to kill fake news draws 30,000

Fact-checking website Thai D.I. Machine was launched on International Fact-Checking Day 2021 yesterday to allow the general public to fact-check suspicious information by themselves.  (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Fact-checking website Thai D.I. Machine was launched on International Fact-Checking Day 2021 yesterday to allow the general public to fact-check suspicious information by themselves.  (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

More than 30,000 people have joined Collaborative Fact Checking (Cofact) Thailand to combat fake news during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth), Cofact Thailand, the International Fact Checking Network and other anti-fake news organisations yesterday held a seminar to mark International Fact-Checking Day 2021 in Bangkok. The group declared that the period from April 2, 2021-April 2, 2022 should be promoted as the “year of fact-checking”.

Pairoj Saonuam, assistant to the CEO of ThaiHealth, told the seminar that International Fact-Checking Day was observed on April 2 every year and praised the country for successfully fighting fake news in the digital era.

ThaiHealth is behind a tool called Collaborative Fact Checking (Cofact) on the website cofact.org and Line account @cofact to check whether news is real or fake.

Now joined by more than 30,000 people, Cofact Thailand has expanded into a community in which all groups of people come to assess the validity of information circulating in society.

Assoc Prof Dr Phnom Kleechaya

“Fake news often goes viral. Even The World Health Organization warned that fake news exacerbated the Covid-19 situation,” said Mr Pairoj.

Cofact Thailand has published more than 350 articles and easy-to-understand infographics to protect people against fake news while preventing the Covid-19 situation in Thailand from getting worse, he said.

Cofact Thailand co-founder Supinya Klangnarong said in light of the current crisis it was crucial for each country to have people collaborate in fact checking and throughout this promotional year, many activities and seminars would be held in Thailand.

Also yesterday, the Faculty of Communication Arts at Chulalongkorn University launched the website Thai D.I. Machine (www.thaidimachine.org) to provide fact-checking services for the general public.

Assoc Prof Phnom Kleechaya from CU’s Digital Intelligence and Literacy Research Unit, said the website assesseed whether the information input by the user was real or fake by using a natural language-processing technique.

Thai D.I. Machine could help delay or reduce the spread of fake news to minimise the damage caused by it, the academic said, adding that people would become more aware of the validity of information overtime with regular use of the service.

Fact-checking website Thai D.I. Machine was launched on International Fact-Checking Day 2021 yesterday to allow the general public to fact-check suspicious information by themselves.  Somchai Poomlard

Assoc Prof Dr Phnom Kleechaya

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