As voters prepare to cast ballots this June in a monumental presidential election, Mexico’s election agency, INE, is working with three leading media organizations — Animal Político, AFP México and Telemundo — to employ Meedan’s Check software solution in an extensive fact-checking and informational campaign.

One of the largest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico holds considerable sway in the region. This partnership with INE helps to address the critical need to debunk fake news, especially in a country where misinformation poses a significant threat to democratic processes and violence against the press is a real and present threat. 

Through collaborative efforts and the strategic use of technology, Meedan aims to support INE in its mission to ensure transparency and integrity during the electoral process.

Agencies parse fact from fiction on WhatsApp

Increasingly, voters throughout the world have turned to closed messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, to receive and share information. Without oversight or moderation, misinformation can easily circulate and spread in these environments.

Through the deployment of tiplines powered by Check, INE and its partners are able to accept queries from the public about content and information making the rounds in their communities. End users can send in questions, video files, audio clips and more. 

The groups running these tiplines can then use Check to instantaneously distribute readymade fact-checks and explainers, which recipients may then share throughout their communities. If a relevant response is not immediately available, users are subscribed for future updates. Check can also group similar claims together, helping partner organizations to analyze informational trends, develop prioritized response strategies and distribute freshly created articles to interested audience members.

Overall, Check makes it easy for newsrooms and community organizations to deploy AI-powered conversational bots as they accelerate their efforts in the fight against misinformation.

Existing partners and enhanced functionality

INE’s partner organizations have actively leveraged Check in the past. Specifically, these groups used the platform to promote information access for Spanish speakers during the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.

A recent upgrade to Check allows trusted partners to share resources across organizations and tiplines, enabling these groups to magnify their impact. With this new feature, INE will have the power to take in articles and fact-checks provided by media partners and disseminate them to its own tipline users.

Meedan is also providing training and analytics services to these organizations, ensuring they’ll have the knowledge they need to make the most of the technology.

Meedan’s track record of trustworthy collaboration

In its decades of experience, Meedan has established a reliable performance record:

  • We’ve worked with more than 170 partners in 46 different countries.
  • We’ve made Check available for 48 separate tiplines in 29 different languages.

Meedan’s efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean are certainly as extensive as the organization’s operations anywhere else on the globe. In particular, the Confirma 2022 project resulted in an informative trend analysis of Brazilian election-related content on WhatsApp. During that initiative, Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court partnered with five news organizations to handle 347,000 user submissions on Check-powered tiplines.

More updates to come in 2024

This year, an unprecedented number of voters around the world are casting ballots in highly consequential elections. Meedan’s election work will continue throughout the year, and we’ll share more insights as they become available. For instance, take a look at what we learned during the recent election in Indonesia.

Find out what Meedan is up to every month. Register to receive the Checklist newsletter!

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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
April 17, 2024
April 11, 2024