Rumor Scanner, a fact-checking initiative affiliated with RSB Media & Research has become the second verified signatory in Bangladesh by International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). The International Fact-Checking Network, a unit of the Poynter Institute of Journalism has awarded this recognition to Rumor Scanner on 28th July 2021.
Fact-checking became recognized as a highly valued form of journalism when PolitiFact was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. The IFCN was established in 2015 to promote higher standards in fact-checking and to advocate reliability and accuracy of information across all mediums. It has been officially nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, just after 6 years of its establishment. The International Fact-Checking Network is dedicated to bringing fact-checkers around the world together.
An organization is given the recognition of verified signatory if the organization adheres to the Five code of principles of IFCN, which are as follows-
Non-partisanship and Fairness
Standards and Transparency of Sources
Transparency of Funding and Organization
Standards and Transparency of Methodology
Open and Honest Corrections policy.
Being compliant with an exhaustive list of 30 criteria that tests commitment to five basic principles, Rumor Scanner is the second Bangladeshi organization to be recognized as the 101st active IFCN signatories around the world. After becoming a verified IFCN signatory, Rumor Scanner joins with renowned journalism powerhouses such as AP, AFP, Reuters.
Sumon Ahmed, the founder of Rumor Scanner said,
“It is a matter of great pride for us. A recognition like this from a well-known international organization is really a pleasant achievement. The journey was not easy. Starting as a personal endeavor without any kind of institutional support, it was challenging for us to reach where we are now. However, the dedication of our team members eased the path for us.” The Covid-19 pandemic had its first phase in Bangladesh in the month of March. We started our journey at the same time. During the lockdown period, people started engaging more in social media platforms. False information and misinformation started spreading rapidly since people were more active in social media than ever. During the first two months of establishment, we detected 25 rumors regarding Covid-19. Since our establishment, Rumor Scanner team has identified 200 rumors and our fact-checking contents have been viewed more than 8 million times on the internet. This international recognition will encourage us to speed up our activities. A rumor-free Bangladesh can be established only by the active efforts of Rumor Scanner and other fact-checking organizations in Bangladesh.
Rumor Scanner is an independent fact-checking entity with a mission to fight misinformation, the country’s ongoing rumors, explain issues, and provide accurate information to the public to make the internet safer.