Discover more from The Checklist
Unveiling our annual report: celebrating a year of impact!
and updates on AI news bots, surveillance and content moderation
We hope you’re staying safe and healthy.
We are thrilled to announce the release of Meedan’s 2022 Annual Report. Download the report for an analysis of our achievements, impact, and initiatives over the past year, highlighting our commitment to strengthen global journalism, digital literacy, and accessibility of information.
In 2022 we advanced our vision of an internet where communities can effectively create and share the context needed to promote civic, public, and individual health and safety. This report showcases the dedication and hard work of our team, partners, and stakeholders who have collectively contributed to our success.
In a strategic move to enhance our impact, Meedan recently merged its approach to programming, resulting in the launch of Meedan Community Impact Programs. We're expanding our network of partner organizations in over 50 countries to combat the surge of misinformation and harmful content online. Our focus spans three key verticals: Elections, Crisis Responses, and Engaging Safe and Inclusive Online Ecosystems.
Meedan's Check continues to be at the forefront of empowering fact-checking initiatives worldwide. Our cutting-edge technology enables over 45 fact-checking organizations to establish misinformation tiplines on end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms like WhatsApp.
"We are thrilled to share our Annual Report, which reflects the collective efforts of our team and partners in tackling the challenge of information integrity in today's complex digital landscape." — Ed Bice, CEO at Meedan
The annual report reflects Meedan’s ongoing dedication to transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement. It serves as a testament to the unwavering support of our funders, partners, and stakeholders who have made these achievements possible.
To learn more about our impact and initiatives, view the full 2022 Annual Report here.
Also, take a look at the Townsquare section where we share opportunities and events.
If there are updates you would like us to share from your country or region, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
The Check Global Report
By Meedan’s Check Global team in Beirut, Bhimtal, Kochi, Nairobi and Porto Alegre
Rise of AI newsbots shakes up India's media landscape (Nikkei Asia)
AI offers a particularly powerful tool for reaching audiences in India, where hundreds of languages are spoken. Delhi-based India Today Group launched the nation's first AI news anchor, Sana. In addition to presenting news in English, Hindi and Bangla, she has reported the weather and co-anchored programs with other journalists in 75 languages.
"It's not our intent to substitute our current anchors with chatbots. Downsizing is far from our minds [...] We're just supplementing our current staff strength and leveraging the power of technology to try something new and exciting in a domain that can get repetitive and monotonous. Besides, in a country with 22 official languages, multilingual bots can facilitate better consumption of news." — A spokesperson for Karnataka's Power TV
North Africa a 'testing ground' for EU surveillance technology (Middle East Eye)
Controversial surveillance technologies are being outsourced by the European Union to countries in North Africa and the Sahel region with no transparency or regulation. Funding, equipment and training is funneled to third countries via aid packages, where autocratic governments use the equipment and techniques to surveil the local population. Beyond the borders of Europe, the movements of asylum seekers are being policed and eventually used to assess their asylum applications.
"There aren't enough safeguards in those countries. There aren't data protection laws. [...] border externalization means furthering instability [in these countries]. This enables states to carry out operations with much less transparency, accountability or regulation than would be required of the EU or any EU government." — Antonella Napolitano, author of a report for human rights group EuroMed Rights
Threats and attacks against journalists in Niger since the coup (Reporters Without Borders)
Reporters Without Borders registered three cases of journalists being threatened or physically attacked and equipment being seized between July 27-30, 2023. These incidents took place while journalists were covering demonstrations in support of the new military junta, called the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), and a press conference by members of the former ruling party.
“The attacks on press freedom that we see emerging in Niger are extremely worrying. It was, until now, the only country in the central Sahel without a military government. We remind the junta that the right to information must be preserved and respected, and we urge it to ensure that no journalist is again targeted by protesters or the security forces at this uncertain time for Niger.” —Sadibou Marong, Director of RSF’s sub-Saharan Africa bureau
One month after threatening to leave Facebook, Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen and his supporters are still using the platform to silence opposition groups. His alarming speech made on January 9th, warning opposition groups that he would use “legal means” or a “stick” to prevent them from taking over the government, was followed by offline violence and threats against opposition groups. He tested Meta’s limits by reposting the same violence-inciting video that was banned by the Oversight Board. Hun Sen’s post has since been taken down, but the account has not suffered any visible repercussions for reposting it.
“Given Hun Sen’s reach on social media, allowing this kind of expression on Facebook enables his threats to spread more broadly. It also results in Meta’s platforms contributing to these harms by amplifying the threats and resulting intimidation.” — Meta Oversight Board
Inside Latin America’s fake news problem (Foreign Policy)
Media organizations across Latin America have released reports exposing the actors behind the spread of false digital narratives and disinformation in the region. The reports, coordinated by the Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP), reveal how disinformation has been used by digital mercenaries on both sides of the political spectrum, evading consequences from social media platforms and government agencies.
Different countries in the region have taken varying approaches to combating disinformation, with Brazil adopting a more aggressive stance by quickly removing false content, while Mexico and Chile rely on labeling and fact-checking without removing content. However, the lack of trust in political parties and news media, along with limited funding for professional journalism, continue to pose challenges in fostering healthy political debate.
Have you got the chance to read Meedan and PEN America’s latest report on online abuse?
According to a recent report by Meedan and PEN America, millions of social media users face harmful harassment, intimidation, and threats to their free expression online but encounter a “deeply flawed” reporting system that fails at every level to safeguard them and hold abusers to account.
The report, Shouting into the Void: Why Reporting Abuse to Social Media Platforms is So Hard and How to Fix It, highlights the dangerous repercussions of such abuse for social media users, especially for women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, as well as journalists, writers and creators, all of whom face more severe levels of abuse online than the general population.
September 11, 2023
Correio Braziliense is offering a training program on health reporting for journalism students and recent graduates. The two-month program will start on 11 September.
October 5-7, 2023
Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is hosting a three-day workshop on renewable energy in India. Interested applicants must have prior experience reporting on scientific and/or environmental topics, and be able to communicate in English and/or Marathi.
August 24-25, 2023
The Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) is accepting applications for the Virtual Training on Gender-Based Violence Reporting. The deadline is 15 August.
What else we’re reading
AymurAI, a pilot project developed in Argentina, aims to create a gender-sensitive database of anonymized legal rulings related to gender based violence and other cases. (A+ Alliance)
Since May 4, the Indian government has shut off the internet in Manipur, giving cover to murders, rapes, and arson. An internet shutdown means Manipur is burning in the dark. (Wired)
The Oversight Board is asking Meta to establish a policy that more effectively bans content that normalizes gender-based violence. A Facebook post mocking an injured woman had remained on the platform for almost two years (The Verge)
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