In Mexico, A Coalition Wants To Fight ‘Fake News’

March 14, 2018
Rodrigo Cervantes - KJZZ
Tania Montalvo from Animal Político at a building damaged by the earthquake in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY — In the United States, authorities and journalists currently investigate the potential effects on the 2016 elections of so-called “fake news” — a popular term to define fabricated or misleading information. But in Mexico, several organizations have united to try to stop its negative effects on local voters in the upcoming elections.

”Fake news” has become a concern in Mexico, where the local and presidential elections will be held in July.

“It’s a huge election, the biggest election in the history of Mexico, so we are working to give to the citizens veracity, balance and fair information”, said Tania Montalvo, general editor for Animal Político, a web-based publication in Mexico City.

Animal Político leads a coalition of more than 60 media outlets and non-profits that will try to verify any election-related information that suspiciously circulates on the internet. Google, Al-Jazeera Plus, Facebook, Twitter and local news outlets like Televisa are part of the initiative.

“We are verifying fake news and also checking claims and speeches from politicians in order to give to our readers verified information,” Montalvo explains.

The partners publish the results of their investigations and use the hashtag #Verificado2018 in social media with the hopes of making them more viral than the false information.

“Fake news is against our right to be informed and our right to be free, and it is not a phenomenon that happens only in one part of the world,” the editor said.

Montalvo believes societies everywhere can fight against fake news by working together.