UN Introduces Fact-Checking Program To Prevent Online ‘Disinformation’

The United Nations (U.N.) recently introduced a new “automated” fact-checking program to prevent “disinformation” and hate speech online.

The U.N. Development Programme (U.N.DP) has created its iVerify platform to prevent disinformation and hate speech on the internet in response to what it calls “online information pollution,” which it claims is an increasing “global challenge.”

The international organization’s “automated fact-checking tool” was established in collaboration with the U.N. International Computing Centre (U.N.ICC), the Facebook and Google-funded fact-checker Meedan, the Meta-owned CrowdTangle, and the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which liberal billionaire George Soros funds.

“Misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech threaten peace and security, disproportionately affecting those who are already vulnerable,” the U.N. Development Programme said.

The iVerify program was defined as an “automated fact-checking tool that can be used to identify false information and prevent and mitigate its spread.” U.N.DP will provide the technology to “national actors” to help identify, monitor, and respond to “threats to information integrity.”

“The support package includes digital tools, capacity building modules, partnership opportunities, and communication and outreach strategies amongst others,” the U.N. said.

With iVerify being heavily used in Sierra Leone, a state in West Africa, ahead of the country’s general elections on June 24, 2023, the fact-checking tool could bring its influence worldwide.

According to the U.N., the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the Independent Radio Network (IRN) will use iVerify “to strengthen national capacity to proactively identify and respond to misinformation, disinformation and hate speech.”

The Sierra Leone initiative is working with BBC Media Action, which the U.N. claims would aid with research and creating social media material “aimed at fostering media literacy and heightening awareness of mis-and disinformation.”

The program will create custom tip lines on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter.

With support from the Irish and Swedish embassies and the California-based Internews, the newly designed iVerify system, first tested in Zambia in 2021, is set to be used ahead of the October 2023 elections in Liberia.

Internews, founded by self-identified Marxist David Hoffman, is supported by the U.S. government and Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Open Secrets reported that Susan Rice, former national security advisor to former President Barack Obama, previously sat on Internews’ board of directors.

The U.N. initiative has received backlash, notably from Canadian professor and psychologist Jordan Peterson, who called the fact-checking system an “Orwellian nightmare.”