IBERIFIER Reports – Needs and challenges for Iberian fact-checkers

This IBERIFER report presents a crucial investigation conducted as part of Work Package 3 within the IBERIFIER project, focusing on fact-checkers in the Iberian Peninsula—their current state, and the training and technological needs that underpin their crucial role in today’s media landscape. The research utilizes a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative surveys with qualitative participant observations and interviews with leaders in the field of verification.

In an age where the rapid dissemination of information often outpaces verification efforts, the IBERIFIER project emerges as a pivotal endeavor within the framework of the European Digital Media Observatory to address the widespread challenge of misinformation in Spain and Portugal. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the intricate nature of information verification, spotlighting the significant needs and obstacles that impede the work of Iberian fact-checkers.

The findings indicate a profound interest in and need for training in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) among fact-checkers. An overwhelming majority, 76%, are keen to integrate AI into their workflows for the swift identification and refutation of falsehoods. This reflects an urgent demand for a shift in the current fact-checking paradigm, with a substantial portion of respondents also pursuing proficiency in data and image analysis.

The report highlights the urgent requirement for specialized tools that support social network analysis and monitor emerging platforms such as TikTok. The necessity of web scraping tools and advanced video editing software is emphasized, pointing to significant gaps in technology and training that currently hinder the effectiveness of fact-checking practices in the region.
Moreover, the report discusses the need for a nuanced understanding of the role of AI, considering its limitations and ethical implications, and the importance of integrating human judgment to ensure responsible technology use.

The executive summary underlines the report’s role as a foundation for an extensive dialogue on the tools, methodologies, and strategies that can strengthen the verification process. It advocates for innovative solutions that improve fact-checkers’ efficiency and accuracy, thereby enhancing the fight against misinformation. The IBERIFIER project is committed to fostering an environment of media literacy and collaborative research, aiming to transform the digital media ecosystem into one where truth triumphs and misinformation is consistently and effectively challenged.

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