Five new organizations have joined Ekta, the Meedan-supported consortium of Indian fact-checkers. The new members are FactCrescendo, NewsMeter, Newschecker, The Healthy Indian Project and The Logical Indian

The network now consists of 12 member organizations, including its founding members, AFP Fact Check, BOOM Live, Factly, India Today Fact Check, Vishvas News , and The Quint’s WebQoof. Ekta means "unity" in Hindi. The newly expanded network is an effort to counter misinformation during events like COVID-19, elections and other critical moments of national interest.

WhatsApp users across India can send suspicious messages, rumors and election-related queries for fact-checking to the following WhatsApp tiplines:

  • AFP Fact-Check +91 95999 73984
  • BOOM Live +91 77009 06588
  • Factly +91 92470 52470 
  • Fact Crescendo 9049053770
  • India Today +91 73700 07000
  • Newschecker: +91 9999499044 
  • NewsMeter: +91 7482830440
  • The Logical Indian +916364000343
  • The Healthy Indian Project - +91 85078-85079
  • Vishvas News +91 95992 99372 
  • The Quint (WebQoof) +91 96436 51818

Ekta members first came together in 2018 to fact-check misinformation related to the 2018 Rajasthan Assembly elections. Since then the group has gone on to fact-check other elections and train hundreds of journalists to debunk misinformation. 

In the coming months, as the country prepares for the state elections in 2023 and Lok Sabha elections in 2024, Ekta members hope to achieve much more through this collaboration to strengthen fact-checking and address misinformation.

“Happy to note new organisations joining the Ekta coalition. Journalists and fact checkers around the world are working together to fight disinformation and improve the quality of information available through social media. It is time for Indian newsrooms and those working in the media literacy space to join hands and fight the spread of disinformation in the country” said Jency Jacob, Managing Editor, BOOMLive

“As members of Ekta, we can harness the expertise of each member to deliver trustworthy and high-quality content for the online user. Collaborations by fact-checkers in other countries on misinformation related to COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have proved effective. In 2023, election related misinformation is a significant focus, but we aspire to see members joining forces on a variety of topics, including health, science, and breaking news/developing stories,” said Ruby Dhingra, Managing Editor, Newschecker.in

“Collaboration is critical in the fight against mis/disinformation especially in a diverse country like ours with multiple languages. We are glad that five new organizations are joining the coalition and hope that the group can reach a newer audience,” said Rakesh Dubbudu, CEO, Factly

“Ekta’s impact is not limited to India. The consortium hopes to take the best practices and insights from this collaborative process to other fact-checking groups, newsrooms and civil society organizations in order to expand the reach of fact-checks across regions, issues and languages,” said Shalini Joshi, Meedan’s APAC Director. 

For more information or specific queries, please contact hello@meedan.com or editors@ekta-facts.com.  

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Network
Elections
Fact-Checking
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Footnotes

  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
February 1, 2023