The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) launched a new legal fund to protect fact-checkers that face litigation.
Poynter reported that the fund has received support from Meta and Google. Each applicant can receive up to $40,000 from the fund to hire a media defense lawyer for litigation that involved defamation, copyright, fair use and licensing.
“Fact-checkers around the world are experiencing harassment and online abuse in different forms and capacities, IFCN Director Baybars Örsek said of the fund, according to Poynter. "We are excited to offer a sense of support to organizations facing those challenges on the ground and working toward finding sustainable solutions to navigate increasing attacks on journalism and fact-checking with significant support from Meta and Google News Initiative."
Meta said it was proud to sponsor the fund.
“We’re thrilled to partner with IFCN on this crucial initiative to protect fact-checkers from harassment and provide the financial support they need to address the unique challenges they face,” Meta News Integrity Program Manager Karishma Shah said, according to Poynter. “The Legal Support Fund is a critical part of our ongoing effort to support fact-checkers and connect them with resources to mitigate the risks they face as they work to debunk viral misinformation.”
Google said the fact-checking efforts were “more important than ever.”
“It is proving more important than ever for people to access accurate information, and sort facts from fiction in their everyday lives,” Matt Cooke, the head of Google News Lab at the Google News Initiative, said according to Poynter. “As part of our ongoing support at the Google News Initiative, we’re hoping this partnership with the IFCN will scale their efforts to a worldwide audience.”
Some people have expressed concern about the bias of fact-checkers on behalf of donors.
NewsBusters reported in 2017 that IFCN received millions of dollars in funding from leftist billionaire George Soros and other left-leaning groups.
Soros gave more than $103 million to media organizations between 2002 and 2014. Of that, $61 million went to groups that promoted Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton’s agenda during the 2016 election.
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