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Pierre Omidyar and George Soros foundations give $500,000 to UK fact-checking organisation

By Zainab Mahmood

UK fact-checking organisation Full Fact has received $500,000 (£386,000) from the Omidyar Network and Open Society Foundations to produce two new fact-checking tools.

The two tools called Live and Trends are being developed to help battle fake news.

Live will monitor real-time sources such as live TV subtitles and will flag when a claim that has been checked is repeated, connecting to the most recent fact-check article.

Live will also create a “snap fact check” when needed, provided the necessary reliable data already exists.

Trends will document incorrect claims and where they come from so that fact checkers can keep track of where misleading claims are coming from.

Full Fact’s Director Will Moy said: “Modern technology allows misleading claims to be spread at a faster rate than ever before. Full Fact’s automated factchecking tools help us keep up with the pace of misinformation by doing grunt work – so factcheckers can concentrate on the most complex and important claims.

“The next step is to develop a global infrastructure for automated factchecking. Live and Trends are central to that. We’ll be talking more about this at the Global Fact conference in Madrid next week.”

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Full Fact has five full-time fact-checking editorial staff and will not be recruiting more as a result of the investment. It will, however, separately be expanding its fact-checking team in the coming weeks.

The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

The Open Society Foundations was founded by George Soros and describes itself as the largest philanthropic funder of human rights in the world.

Full Fact said the two new tools will be available in newsrooms by the end of this year and more generally available in 2018.

Full Fact was set up in 2010 and is a registered charity with a cross-party board of trustees.

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