Japan’s social media fact-checking body aims to counter fake news

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The Safer Internet Association, a Tokyo-based nonprofit, said Wednesday it will launch an organization on Saturday that will verify the authenticity of information online. Called Japan Fact-check Center, the organization aims to prevent the spread of fake news and other false information.

With an editorial staff made up of former newspaper reporters and others, the center plans to produce articles on the authenticity of dubious information circulating on social networks. The center plans to publish at least 10 such articles online each month. News articles published in mainstream newspapers, including The Yomiuri Shimbun, will be exempt from center coverage.

The management committee, joined by university professors, will establish the centre’s operational orientations and evaluate its activities, while the audit committee will confirm whether its governance is appropriate.

Yahoo Japan Corp. will provide 20 million yen per year, while Google will provide $1.5 million over two years to support the center’s activities.

Misinformation has become a social issue as stories exaggerating the danger of COVID-19 vaccines and uncertain information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spread online.

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