Meta has joined hands with the Press Trust of India (PTI) to mitigate viral misinformation on its platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Threads. As part of the collaboration, PTI will become an independent fact-checker for the company and help in identifying, reviewing, and rating misinformation. With this move, Meta now has partnered with 12 fact-checking agencies in India and has a coverage over content in 16 Indian languages. Notably, the announcement came just days before the start of India’s general elections.

In a press release dated April 1, Meta announced the partnership and said, “Today, we are expanding our third-party fact-checking program in India to include Press Trust of India (PTI), a dedicated fact-checking unit within the newswire’s editorial department. The partnership will enable PTI to identify, review and rate content as misinformation across Meta platforms.”

With this partnership, Meta now has 12 fact-checking partners in India including AFP- Hub, The Quint, NewsChecker, India Today Fact Check, Factly, and more. The social media giant said this has now made India the country with the most third-party fact-checking partners globally across Meta. The company also has an extensive coverage over regional language content with 16 Indian languages covered by the partners besides English, including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and more.

Meta’s fact-checking programme started in 2016 with an aim to address the problem of viral misinformation, and in particular hoaxes that have no basis in fact. The third-party fact-checking partners keep tabs on such viral content and both identify, rate, and review them. Whenever a fact-checker rates a piece of content as false, altered, or partly false, the company claims to reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it. Additionally, it also notifies users that are trying to share such content about the fact-checker’s rating and adds a warning label that links to the partner’s article with more information about the topic.

The company highlighted that it only collaborates with agencies that are certified through the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). Meta now has nearly 100 fact-checking partners globally that review and rate misinformation in more than 60 languages.

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