IFCN launches new legal support fund for fact-checkers facing harassment


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 23, 2022) – The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at Poynter has launched a new Legal Support Fund to provide financial assistance to fact-checking organizations facing threats of harassment, intimidation and litigation.

The fund is made possible through renewed support from Meta and the Google News Initiative’s one-year partnership with IFCN.

The Legal Support Fund comes at a critical time for fact-checkers around the world who, despite the harassment they face, continue to respect a code of the highest fact-checking principles to debunk false claims. Today, hundreds of fact checkers from 85 different countries gathered at Oslo Metropolitan University in Oslo, Norway to discuss the unique challenges they face in an increasingly hostile environment for fact checkers.

The discussion, which was part of the ninth edition Global fact organized by IFCN, was moderated by IFCN Director Baybars Örsek and featured a panel of Meta representatives.

“Fact-checkers around the world face online harassment and abuse in different forms and capacities. We are delighted to offer support to organizations facing these challenges on the ground and to work to find lasting solutions to address the growing attacks on journalism and fact-checking with strong support from Meta and Google News. Initiative,” Örsek said.

“We are delighted to partner with the IFCN on this crucial initiative to protect fact checkers from harassment and provide the financial support they need to meet the unique challenges they face,” said Karishma Shah. , Information Integrity Program Manager at Meta. “The Legal Support Fund is a vital part of our ongoing efforts to support fact checkers and connect them with resources to mitigate the risks they face as they work to debunk viral misinformation.”

Up to $40,000 is available for each eligible applicant. Selected fact-checking organizations can use the awarded funds to hire a media defense attorney and be represented in disputes directly related to fact-checking or reporting, such as defamation, copyright , fair use and license.

“It’s more important than ever for people to access accurate information and sort fact from fiction in their daily lives,” said Matt Cooke, Google News Lab Manager at the Google News Initiative. “As part of our continued support of the Google News Initiative, we hope this partnership with the IFCN will expand their efforts to a global audience.”

The fund will be administered by the IFCN. All applicants must be IFCN signatories Code of Principles. Grantees will be selected by a committee of regional and global organizations with legal, journalism and press freedom expertise. Members of the committee will review each claim of recognized risk that the case could result in imprisonment, bankruptcy and closure.

Applications for the Legal Support Fund will open next month. For more information, visit poynter.org/ifcn.

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Tina Dyakon
Marketing Director
The Poynter Institute

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