UNESCO and CMC signed the exchanging letters of establishing the Fact Checking Tools (FCT) platform to fight disinformation and fake news amid COVID-19

UNESCO and CMC signed the exchanging letters of establishing the FCT Fact Checking Tools Platform to fight Disinformation and fake news amid COVID-19, as part of the EU funded project “#CoronavirusFacts: Addressing the ‘Disinfodemic’ on Covid-19 in conflict-prone environments” project.

With financial support from the European Union, UNESCO and CMC will develop the FCT platform to be the main tool for fighting misinformation and a new online system for fact checking to be hosted by the CMC with open access (free for all). Iraqi FCT platform is a completely automatic fact-checking platform that can detect a claim as it appears in real time, and instantly provide the users with a rating about its accuracy. It’s a call to the computing and journalism communities to tackle the technical challenges they face in automating fact-checking and potential solutions.

More than 50 staff from CMC took part in the factcheck training, hosted by UNESCO on 26-27 August 2020, and today is the day of translating the hope into a concrete achievement. The two-day training was filled with info-sessions on the project’s lessons learned and with workshops and hands on sessions on the factcheck methodology. Moreover, today we move to the second step in which we will provide the FCT platform to be the first in the MENA region.

This platform will be designed as a verification, helping journalists in saving time and to be more efficient in their fact-checking and debunking tasks on social networks especially when verifying videos and images.

Dr. Ali the Head of CMC on the FCT said, “with this FCT platform we can say that journalists, media actors, information specialists and general users will be able to verify the information relayed by COVID-19 and identify the misinformation”. Dr. Ali added “UNESCO Iraq office is a key partner that we can depend on to develop Iraqi ICT sectors”.

The provided tools will allow users to quickly get contextual information on Facebook and YouTube videos, to perform reverse image search on Google, Baidu or Yandex search engines, to fragment videos from various platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Daily Motion) into keyframes, to enhance and explore keyframes and images through a magnifying lens, to query Twitter more efficiently through time intervals and many other filters, to read video and image metadata, to check the video copyrights, and to apply forensic filters on still images.