Operated by the Nest Center for Journalism Innovation and Development, MFCC is the only group in Mongolia accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network

Check-powered fact-checking

The new tipline will leverage Meedan’s Check software solution, allowing end users to interact through Messenger with MFCC’s chatbot, Asuu, a name that means “ask.”

As users submit queries and content — whether video, audio or text — Check will help Asuu deliver relevant fact-checks, explainers and news reports, including entries shared with MFCC by partner organizations. Where fact-checks are not yet available, Check will help MFCC gather and sort user submissions to prioritize the creation of new fact-checks.

The MFCC Messenger tipline will be the first Check project to support the Mongolian language. Reminiscent of the #FactsFirstPH initiative, MFCC is leading a coalition of more than a dozen different groups, including media partners, civil society organizations, academic personnel and grassroots institutions. 

A pivotal election that demands information integrity

The upcoming parliamentary election will be Mongolia’s first since last May’s constitutional amendment enlarged the legislative body, expanding it from 76 to 126 seats. A recent article on Mongolian election issues published by The Diplomat noted that campaigning is restricted to just 14 days, and in some cases, voters will choose from among hundreds of candidates for only a handful of seats, putting high-quality information at a premium, especially online. Perceptions of corruption also impact potential voters’ attitudes toward the political process, especially for younger people.

In this context, MFCC fights back against misinformation in Mongolia. Dulamkhorloo Baatar, Nest Center’s chair, has highlighted the prominence of Facebook and word-of-mouth communication in a country where misinformation is common and large nomadic populations can be particularly challenging to reach.

“With Meedan’s help, we’re enthusiastic about the potential to make an impact through our Messenger tipline. The tool can enhance, significantly, the limited outreach we currently have and enhance our ability to respond to pressing questions the audience has,” Dulamkhorloo said. “This will help us better meet the information needs of our communities.”

Promoting vital election projects — in Mongolia and beyond

In addition to the Check tipline, Meedan will also assist MFCC with programmatic support for election integrity initiatives such as building coalitions, promoting the tipline, and codesigning network events and media literacy training sessions.

“This is a unique partnership for us at Meedan, and it’s an opportunity to help MFCC expand the reach of its impressive fact-checking operation to ensure the voting population of Mongolia has access to vital information during an important election year,” Meedan Program Manager Sneha Alexander said.

The partnership represents a key component of Meedan's overall 2024 election strategy. To respond to intensifying waves of misinformation during this year's election cycles, Meedan is codesigning election integrity events with select partners to engage media outlets and community organizations ahead of election dates. These events will focus on promoting, amplifying and extending the reach of election-specific initiatives related to information gathering, fact-checking and media literacy. 

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. This method used Twitter’s historical search API
  4. 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).
  5. All our searches were case insensitive and could match substrings; so, “revers” matches “reverse”, “reversal”, etc.



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Published on

May 17, 2024