Maldita.es has been working for almost two months to fight the disinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic. For this we have developed a specific project in which we debunk disinformation and create content based on scientific and expert voices, solve our audience questions and give prevention advice sharing all this content with our community of more than 3 million users on all platforms.
Only in March we have reached over 10 million users only through our site. We have also developed alliances with other fact-checking organizations around the world and other media outlets in Spain, from radio to national TV, so that our content has a much greater reach and impact.
Debunking in this crisis
In the last two months we have denied more than 350 hoaxes related to COVID-19. Most of these hoaxes circulate on WhatsApp and are sent by our community to our social networks to confirm their veracity. The main topics of these hoaxes are related to cures, drugs and disease prevention, conspiracy theories, and authorities and governments. We have also identified an increase in phishing cases.
Our science section answers our audience's questions
Maldita Ciencia is our dedicated section to science dedicated to scientific dissemination focused on health, food and other sciences.
This section has become key in our battle against disinformation about COVID-19. We have produced more than 300 pieces solving queries from our community and spreading scientific information using official sources and experts to solve them.
In a global infodemic, estretegic alliances are key
In order to reach more and different audiences and stop disinformation faster, we have and are creating alliances with organizations, the media and public institutions:
- We are working with FullFact (UK) to create a experts hub for verification organizations in the five european countries most affected by coronavirus with Google’s support.
- We are also part of the global network Coronavirus Facts Alliance coordinated by the International Fact-Checking Network and LatamChequea, integrated by 22 media organizations, to fight disinformation about COVID-19 in Latin American countries.
- We are part of the Facebook Third Party Fact Checking program, having debunked over 150 misinformation pieces only in march.
- We have partnered with Twitter in order to spread fact-checking information throughout this crisis.
- We are in directo contact with medical and scientific schools in Spain in order to uphold experts voices so that they reach the general public.
- Radio: Daily collaboration in the show "Julia en la onda" in Onda Cero Radio and three weekly collaborations with Radio Nacional de España, the public radio of Spain.
- We also have agreements with Cuatro TV (a national TV) and Telemadrid, doing fixed sections every week.
New projects to battle disinformation
We identified the need to expand the formats and forms of communication for citizens during this crisis. So we are developing new projects:
- Whatsapp bot: In alliance with CovidWarriors and Whatsapp we are automating our queries service.
- Brigades against COVID-19 misinformation: We are organizing citizen groups that will distribute our daily anti-disinformation packages that include audio and images to distribute on social media.
- Visual information for all audiences: Focusing especially on the elderly, we are creating educational material on the prevention of contagion and other topics related to COVID-19. We are also creating a educative board game about coronavirus and disinformation for people to print in their houses during the lockdown.
- Podcast: Weekly we published a podcast about hoaxes and the most important informative pieces of the week.
Maldita.es is a non-profit fact-checking organization in Spain that fights disinformation and promotes transparency through fact-checking and data journalism techniques. Our main mission is to provide citizens with tools, technology and information that allows them to build informed opinions and make informed choices. We are the only Spanish organization appointed by the European Commission to take part in its High Level Group on Fake News and Disinformation and an approved signatory of the International Fact- Checking Network's Code of Principles.