From 22 to 26 June this year, the ninth annual conference of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) was held in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in which over 110 organizations from all continents of the world except Antarctica are members. The number of participants was about 400, which, in addition to journalists and fact-checkers, also included academics, who on the first day of the conference spoke about the contribution made by science in order to advance the profession and in terms of efficiency, enhanced mutual cooperation, the use of technology, including artificial intelligence. The research was also presented that helps the public become familiar with the types of disinformation and disinformation narratives that are most widely spread on the Internet, and above all, on social networks, how fact-checkers choose which misinformation to debunk, etc.

All these topics were the subject of discussion among the fact-checkers themselves in the following three days – from 23 to 25 June, but also many others. The most important plenary discussions took place in the morning and included topics such as fact-checking during elections, the state of anti-disinformation regulation globally, and the use of technology, above all, in providing coverage and scope in fact-checking, that is, how to debunk as much misinformation as possible and as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to increase the impact in the work of fact-checkers.

However, from the very agenda of the conference, above all, from the joint, plenary morning sessions, it is immediately noticeable that the conference, that is, the fact-checkers need to discuss with the representatives of social networks in order to better define mutual relations, to avoid the so-called “fact washing”, i.e. bringing the social platforms into a situation where they can say that through the cooperation with the fact-checkers they are doing a lot in the fight against disinformation, and on the other hand, disinformation will continue to exist on these platforms in large numbers. So, the agenda was full of discussions on the topic of fact washing, the cooperation with Google through the Claim Review tool, which was said to have been used to create 140,000 fact checks and has reached 4 billion impressions, i.e. Google users have seen the debunking of misinformation 4 billion times using this largest information search engine on the Internet. There was a panel attended by representatives from Meta (the owner of Facebook), who everyone wanted to hear from, especially since there are now about 80-90 fact-checking organizations contracted to fact-check content shared on Facebook, and a panel with a representative of YouTube, which faced at least 200 disgruntled fact-checkers from around the world because the social video platform still does not have robust cooperation with the fact-checking community, even though it is becoming a more popular site for disinformation networks, especially if there are given that the number of videos on this network is growing rapidly from year to year, as well as the number of users.

One of the numerous panels of Global Fact. Photo: Poynter Institute, USA, 2022

There were at least 50 panels on a variety of topics during the afternoons over the three days and Global Fact 9 was the place to be if you were interested in the fight against disinformation globally at the moment.

A panel discussion called “The Research-Practice Divide” was held as part of GlobalFact 9 on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Oslo, Norway. (Seth Smalley/Poynter).

The Macedonian delegation was composed of the executive director of the Metamorphosis Foundation, Bardhyl Jashari, the editor-in-chief of the portal Portalb, Elida Zilbeari, and the editor-in-chief of the Truthmeter portal, Vladimir Petreski. The Metamorphosis Foundation and Truthmeter have been certified members of the IFCN for three years, as well as independent external fact-checkers on the Facebook social network in N. Macedonia.

The next Global Fact 10 will be held next year in Seoul, South Korea, but by then a European Fact-Checking Association is expected to be established, in which the Metamorphosis Foundation is a founding and active stakeholder from the beginning. This association is expected to play an important role in strengthening the fight against disinformation on the European continent.