Google News Lab: India Has Most Fact Checkers In The World: Irene Jay Liu, Head of News Lab, APAC at Google

Chennai: India is the country with the highest number of certified fact checkers in the world, Irene Jay Liu, News Lab Manager, Asia Pacific to Google said Thursday. He said it was in stark contrast to when he first started working with Google News Lab in 2017, when there were only two or three certified professional fact-checkers.

“Since then, we have seen the fact-checking community grow in India until India is actually the country with the most fact-checkers in the world who are certified by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN)”, he said. “We want to make sure that their fact check produces a surface on our products. So, as a result, you can actually view fact checks on Google Search, Google News and YouTube, in both English and Hindi.

Liu said that as journalists, journalists are at the forefront of the fight against misinformation and it is in this spirit that India’s Google News Initiative (GNI) Training Network was founded. He says it’s about bringing fact-checking skills, digital safety and security and other topics to newsrooms where working journalists can teach others.

” We have 250 trainers across the country who can train more than 10 languages. And since we launched this program in 2018, we have trained 38,000 journalists, media educators, journalism students and fact-checkers across the country,” he said. “We are very excited to expand this program this year to new topics related to fact-checking and fighting misinformation. »

He said issues such as how to use data to help improve fact-checking and how one can fact-check topics like climate change, would be among the topics to be covered in future programs in the next few months.

On the policy front, Clement Wolf, senior director of public policy, information integrity at Google, said the company has policies that cover a wide range of harmful content and behavior. This includes hate speech against harassment and a variety of misinformation and disinformation, among many others.

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“We continue to develop this policy over time to respond to new threats or new opportunities to do a good job,” he said. “Enforcing these policies at scale is one of the challenges of operating platforms like ours. »

To do this, he says, Google and many of the platforms it operates such as YouTube, for example, rely on signs or notifications flagged by casual users or others as violating the rules. Wolf says the company’s machine learning systems are helping it do this work at scale, but stresses that context is key when evaluating content for misinformation or disinformation.

“We really rely on the complementarity between human reviewers who have trained and understand the nuances of politics and machine learning systems whose job it is to improve the content for these people to review. And, of course, the results of the review inform machine learning systems so they can perform better over time.

Wolf said Google removed more than 3.4 billion ads in 2021 and in the last quarter of 2021 took action across nearly 4 million channels. “We have policies for each of our services,” he explained. “This policy varies from service to service. Although we all perceive the same dangers in different services, these services do not have the same goals or the same user expectations and therefore we may react to these hazards differently from one service to another.

Cheryl Tenny

"Thinker. Food advocate. Incurable coffee enthusiast. Communicator. Proud student. Zombie buff. Tv fanatic. Extreme troublemaker."

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