A fact-checking post by FactCheck.org that prompted a retraction and an apology was voted “Best Correction Obtained” and honored at the Global Fact 6 Awards. The award was presented June 20, 2019, at the International Fact-Checking Network’s Global Fact 6 conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
The fact-check “debunked an article that falsely claimed Facebook gave ‘unprecedented access’ to conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch,” in the words of FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. “After our story was published, the website retracted the story and apologized to readers, saying the story ‘did not meet with our editorial standards.’ ”
The April 12th fact-check was written by Angelo Fichera, a staff writer at FactCheck.org who focuses on debunking viral information on Facebook as part of a partnership between FactCheck.org and the social platform.
The original story, headlined “Facebook Will Give Koch Brothers ‘Unprecedented Access’ to Our Personal Information,” appeared on the website gritpost.com, whose slogan is, “Real News for the Working Class.” The story also was published on the site allagainsttrump.com and was flagged by Facebook users as potentially false.
Fichera’s fact-checking article said the headline and story on gritpost.com misrepresented a research initiative intended to give scholars access to proprietary Facebook information to better understand how it “impacts elections and democracy.” Although the Charles Koch Foundation is one of the funders of that initiative, the funders will not have access to the data, according to the fact-check.
“We are grateful for the support of those who voted for us,” said FactCheck.org Director Eugene Kiely, who accepted the award at the conference. “Angelo’s story is a good example of how we can reduce the spread of misinformation on the internet.”
The story was up against three other finalists, from Africa Check in South Africa, TEMPO in Indonesia, and FaktaBaari EDU in Finland, and was selected by online voters. Read more about the finalists in this and the two other categories.