The Chinese fact checkers taking on the Covid infodemic – a rumour at a time
 

The Chinese fact checkers taking on the Covid infodemic – a rumour at a time

06/2022

Fang Kecheng, assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said it would take a long time to reach the desired result through independent fact-checkers alone.

Fang said big tech companies should support such fact-checking projects and do their best to promote their content. “It is disappointing that Chinese internet platforms haven’t done much in this regard,” he said.

Fang said the specific limitations in China meant that some survival strategies used by fact-checking organisations elsewhere were difficult to adopt on the mainland.

International internet platforms such as Facebook and news agencies such as Agence France-Presse have their own fact-checking departments but Fang said Chinese platforms and media outlets were less interested in this.

In addition, fact-checking content in China struggles to attract interest among advertisers. Fang said the traffic for fact-checking content was not at a level to make it profitable enough.

Sponsorship from foundations was not an option either. “Chinese foundations are strictly limited and not allowed to get involved in the media content business,” he said.

“There is no other way out in sight but to rely on the dedication of individuals and small volunteer groups.”

 

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