False or misleading information on the Coronavirus can drive societies apart and is a threat to public health. Access to reliable information remains key in responding to the pandemic and needs to be ensured at all levels of society – from governments, public health authorities, civil society to citizens. As of today, fact-checkers in Latin America and the Caribbean can access a new online resource-hub to address COVID-19 disinformation, PortalCheck.org, supported by the European Union.
PortalCheck.org is the new online platform for fact-checkers in Latin America and the Caribbean, which offers a set of tools, including educational resources, news and tips to help combat misleading information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Practitioners now have access to reliable information about the risks of spreading wrong information, handling the sensitive task of communicating on vaccines and more generally examples and solutions related to addressing COVID-19 disinformation.
As part of the platform, a ‘Digital Lab’ connects representatives of leading social networking platforms, fact-checkers and fact-checking organisations, journalists and some of the most prominent social media influencers in Latin America and the Caribbean. They can directly exchange best practices on promoting critical thinking and the consumption of scientific information and support each other in addressing misleading online content.
Hilde Hardeman, Director – Head of Service for Foreign Policy Instruments stated during today’s launch event of the platform:
‘At a time when the pandemic creates confusion and divides across societies, it is critical to rely on such tools to access reliable information, to connect people and bring them closer one to another.’
In addition, a fact-checking seminar for journalists provided by specialised organisations in this field will be available from 15 February–15 March 2021.
The online platform is implemented by UNESCO in partnership with Chequeado - LatamChequea and is part of a wider EU-funded project "#CoronavirusFacts, Addressing the 'Disinfodemic' on COVID-19". The project aims at enhancing access to reliable information on COVID-19 atglobal, regional and national levels and is funded through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace.
Complementing the outreach carried out via PortalCheck,a series of media literacy activities within the project foster support to journalists, help them get access to reliable information and produce reliable news stories. This includes a series of Open Online Course for journalists on current COVID-19 related topics (e.g. vaccines) with participation of representatives of the World Health Organisation and other experts in the area.
- Publication date
- 11 February 2021
- Service for Foreign Policy Instruments