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Collaboration won't let false facts get in the way of a good story

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A new media literacy education campaign is sharing strategies from the toolkit of professional fact-checkers to help people spot misinformation.

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The Check The Facts campaign, a collaboration between AAP FactCheck and Facebook, launches on Monday, coinciding with the start of Global Media and Information Literacy Week, and aligns with this year’s theme: Media and Information Literacy for the Public Good.

The campaign was developed in response to AAP-commissioned analysis revealing few media literacy education resources designed specifically for Australian adults.

“The growing problem of misinformation is compounded by the fact many Australian adults lack confidence in their ability to identify false or misleading information,” AAP FactCheck Editor Peter Bodkin said.

Facebook Australia Head of Policy Josh Machin said the campaign was part of the platform’s ongoing commitment to work to reduce the spread of misinformation.

“That’s why we chose to partner with AAP, one of Australia’s most trusted independent fact-checking organisations, to develop a campaign that all Aussies can relate to so they can make an informed decision when consuming news,” he said.

“This campaign is designed to provide the tools and resources that inform anyone on how to detect false news online or offline – and ultimately stop spreading it. Media literacy has always been one of our commitments around the world and Australia, and Check The Facts will certainly not be our last effort in this space.”

The campaign is inspired by the three basic questions underpinning every article written by AAP FactCheck, the internationally accredited fact-checking arm of AAP.

“At its most basic, the framework of our fact-checking process relies on the questions we share in our campaign: Who made the claim? What’s the evidence? And what do trusted sources say?” Bodkin said.

“The very act of pausing and considering those questions can help build the critical-thinking skills needed to recognise and avoid misinformation.”

Check The Facts centres on videos showing characters sharing and debunking real-world misinformation in different social settings. It will run across social media channels until November 24, complemented by resources at factcheck.aap.com.au

AAP CEO Emma Cowdroy described Check The Facts as an extension of the newswire’s 85-year commitment to fact-based journalism.

“Our new mission as a not-for-profit newswire drives us to support Australians to build their media literacy skills as we continue to serve them by combating misinformation circulating online and in the community,” she said.

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