Facebook and Instagram owner Meta on Wednesday announced a collaboration with the International Fact-Checking Network’s (IFCN) nonprofit Poynter Institute to create a free introductory fact-checking course serving journalists in the Asia Pacific region, including Pakistan.

According to a press release issued today to announce the joint project, the course will comprise three modules focusing on fact-checking, verification and debunking and health misinformation and disinformation.

“The course will prime journalists on how to find fact-checkable claims, the methodology for fact-checking and tools and techniques to assist in their journey,” the press release reads.

It added that the self-paced course was currently available in 15 languages, including English and Urdu, and was designed to be completed in two to three hours.

“Journalists, academics and aspiring fact-checkers throughout the region are encouraged to participate. All participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate honouring their commitment to improving the global information ecosystem.”

Meta’s Integrity Partnerships Manager for the Asia Pacific region Aya Lowe said fact-checking was an “essential pillar” of her work to address misinformation in the company.

“We believe upskilling people in Asia Pacific with courses like this, is critical to help develop and strengthen the entire system,” she was quoted as saying in the press release.

Meanwhile, IFCN Interim Direct Ferdi Ozsoy said the network was “taking a crucial step in empowering individuals with the necessary tools to combat misinformation and strengthen journalistic excellence in the Asia-Pacific region” through the Meta collaboration.

“Meta and the IFCN are key partners that work together to support the information ecosystem through Meta’s Third Party Fact-Checking Programme. These programmes support journalists and strengthen and boost the credibility of fact-checkers in the fight against misinformation in the Asia Pacific region,” the press release reads.

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