Fojo proposes establishment of Swedish knowledge centre for handling inaccuracies on the web

The media institute Fojo puts forward proposal to establish a Swedish knowledge centre to manage the problem with organised influence campaigns on the internet.

Fojo proposes establishment of a Swedish knowledge centre that:

  • follows and accounts for research and development of methods, tools and models for the checking of facts and handling of inaccuracies on the internet, in Sweden as well as internationally
  • engages in dialogue with authorities, organisations and the media industry
  • supports initiatives from individual media to carry out fact-checks
  • arranges training programmes for media actors
  • develops and refines methods, tools and models for handling inaccuracies on the internet
  • sheds light upon the connection between organised inaccuracies and viral hate and threat campaigns
  • arranges events/debates on fact-checking and inaccuracies on the internet

"One type of activities will not be enough to cope with the problem of organised influence campaigns on the internet. In our study we put forward a proposal for a number of different approaches and we are now looking to establish collaborations with other actors and different funding channels in order to be able to launch an On-call fact check service in the beginning of next year", says Kersti Forsberg, education coordinator at Fojo.

The proposal has been published in a report that analyses how inaccuracies are spread on the internet and the actual and potential role of journalism in this process. The report is written the journalist Jack Werner and Fojo's development manager Lars Tallert.

"The discussion the last few years about inaccuracies on the internet and the results of these on society has, at times, been far too superficial. Journalism not the least, has been far better at pointing out the splinters in the eyes of different social media than at recognising the beams in their own. In this report, we have made an effort to point out the problems both within and outside the editorial offices in order for us to be able to take the next step in fact-checking", Jack Werner explains.

The report has been funded by Anderstiftelsen.
"At Anderstiftelsen we are happy to be able to support a project that works to promote fact-checking and to counteract propaganda and disinformation. That Swedish media houses can get support in their important work, not least during the election year, is great and hopefully this can lead to the media industry seeing possibilities for collaboration on fact-checking to achieve the best effect. It is important that we work together to build a competence for handling inaccuracies on the internet in a professional way", says Victoria Svanberg at Anderstiftelsen.

The idea is that the centre should be established in connection to the election 2018 and that it be used as a long-term resource for Swedish actors after that.
"This is a societal problem that the media industry and all journalists must work together to deal with, and Fojo can be an important player on this arena", Kersti Forsberg concludes.

More information

Lars Tallert, development manager, Fojo, +4670-831 88 00