Indian Election Fact-Checkers: ‘sifting grains of sand from a toxic beach’

A pile of sand with a sifting frame, by Peter Griffin,

Happy Easter Monday for my readers in the UK. For the rest of us, it’s back to work.

And if you think you have it bad at work, give a moment’s thought to the small army of fact-checkers working to try to root out misinformation in the Indian election. Bloomberg looks at one of the groups contracted by Facebook to help monitor misinformation cross 10 of the countries almost two dozen languages.

A visit to Boom’s offices makes clear that the scale of Facebook’s response in India so far isn’t enough. The small team appears capable and hardworking almost to a fault, but given the scale of the problem, they might as well be sifting grains of sand from a toxic beach. “What can 11 people do,” says Boom Deputy Editor Karen Rebelo, “when hundreds of millions of first-time smartphone-internet users avidly share every suspect video and fake tidbit that comes their way?”

How 11 People Are Trying to Stop Fake News in the World’s Largest Election, by
Saritha Rai, Bloomberg

In addition to that, we look at just one of the many tributes that poured in to slain Northern Irish journalism dynamo Lyra McKee. This one is from my friend and one of her journalism professors, Paul Bradshaw. And there is more in my international media newsletter today.

Germany’s Axel Springer continues to battle ad blockers. Why is LinkedIn producing original journalism? Is Google creating an Internet of Places? The history of influencers, from Shakespeare to today. Why newsroom metrics should have an expiration date.

If you spot a good story about the business of media, especially digital, feel free to send it to me @kevglobal on Twitter. If you don’t get my international media newsletter in your inbox, you can get a taste of it and subscribe here