Misinformation about the election targeted the candidates, as well as the country’s broader voting system and hot button issues like migration and the war in Ukraine, according to news reports. Meedan worked with AFP’s fact-checking unit to build infrastructure across multiple social media platforms to monitor and debunk false and misleading claims surrounding the race.
The global news service used Meedan’s Check software to bring in claims from Facebook Messenger, Twitter and WhatsApp, debunk them, and then send them back out to social media users. In total, the project brought in more than 2,000 conversations between social media users and AFP journalists, and led to more than 900 fact-checks published to audiences.
“Check enabled us to detect viral posts and emerging controversies around the French presidential election and the candidates’ campaigns, while improving our relations with our readers. In particular, some followers have been questioning the legality of the electoral process, for instance around the vote counting,” said AFP journalist Julien Nguyen-Dang.
Meedan works with AFP on elections in five markets: Brazil, India, France, Germany and Mexico.
This model is part of a broader 2022 election monitoring vertical within Meedan. Our team is collaborating with leading newsrooms, fact-checkers, civil society organizations, and governmental organizations to build supportive infrastructure and programming to improve the integrity of elections around the world. In the Philippines, we’re currently working with award-winning news outlet Rappler to organize more than 120 partners in the #FactsFirstPH consortium ahead of the May 2022 elections.
If you’re a newsroom and you want to talk about election monitoring software, email us at email@example.com for more information.
- Online conversations are heavily influenced by news coverage, like the 2022 Supreme Court decision on abortion. The relationship is less clear between big breaking news and specific increases in online misinformation.
- The tweets analyzed were a random sample qualitatively coded as “misinformation” or “not misinformation” by two qualitative coders trained in public health and internet studies.
- This method used Twitter’s historical search API
- The peak was a significant outlier compared to days before it using Grubbs' test for outliers for Chemical Abortion (p<0.2 for the decision; p<0.003 for the leak) and Herbal Abortion (p<0.001 for the decision and leak).
- All our searches were case insensitive and could match substrings; so, “revers” matches “reverse”, “reversal”, etc.
Megan runs Meedan’s Health Desk initiative as Senior Program Manager. She has worked for news outlets in Canada and the US, and holds a Peabody Award for her work on Netflix’s Patriot Act series. She has a Master of Science from the Columbia Journalism School.