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Feb. 22, 2018, 1:07 p.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: reporterslab.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   February 22, 2018

23 years ago, there was Snopes.com. Now there are at least 149 dedicated fact-checking projects around the world currently active, according to the latest census from the Duke Reporters’ Lab, released Thursday.

That’s up from 114 at the 2017 count, and up from 44 in the spring of 2014, when the Reporters’ Lab did a global tally for the first time.

21 fact-checking efforts have launched just this past year, including a brand new Indonesian fact-checking effort from Tempo.co launched last month, the Reporters’ Lab census found. Election cycles in countries such as Norway, Germany, and South Korea have spurred fact-checking projects that have honed in on candidates and their campaigns (Indonesia’s general elections are next year).

This global boom is no fad:

Based on the 143 projects whose launch dates we know for certain, 41 (29 percent) have been in business for more than five years. And a diverse group of six have already celebrated 10 years of nearly continuous operation — from 23-year-old Snopes.com, the grandparent of hoax-busting, to locally focused “Reality Checks” from WISC-TV (News 3) in Madison, Wisconsin, which started fact-checking political statements in 2004. Some long-term projects have occasionally shuttered between election cycles before resuming their work. And some overcame significant funding gaps to come back from the dead. On average, fact-checking organizations have been around four years.

Who’s actually behind each of these efforts varies. In the U.S., 41 of 47 projects counted were arms of established news outlets like WISC-TV in Wisconsin or the Associated Press (a partner in Facebook’s own fact-checking initiative). Outside the U.S., only about half of the fact-checkers are affiliated with an already established news organization (54 of 102).

There’s also more competition among fact-checking projects in many parts of the world:

Last year there were 11 countries with more than one active fact-checker. This year, we counted more than one fact-checker in 22 countries and more than two in 11 countries.

Countries With More Than Two Fact-Checkers:

United States: 47
Brazil: 8
France: 7
United Kingdom: 6
South Korea: 5
India: 4
Germany: 4
Ukraine: 4
Canada: 4
Italy: 3
Spain: 3

You can browse the (regularly updated) world map of all these projects compiled by the Reporters’ Lab here.

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