The Urgency for Factchecking in Thailand

Cofact event at Roi Et

Cofact event at Roi Et

As part of Cofact (Collaborative Fact-Checking), a network organisation that aims to counter fake news, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation is delighted to take part in Citizen Accountability for Local Governance Media (CALM) project as one of the organisers. With the general election fast approaching, the project's purpose is to hold the government accountable for local government and political reform efforts in Thailand through increased access to objective information.

Hosted for the first time at Roi Et for three days, the main aim of the workshop session was to educate the participants about media & digital literacy, fact-checking tools, including Co fact website, e-learning platforms, and chatbot technology, and how to engage with fact-checker communities networks. At the end of the workshop, only those who reached the required score would be able to start the second process. 

After that, those candidates have to transfer all of their knowledge and skills to their community by organising a workshop. Apart from giving some financial support, Cofact will be an adviser regarding the management of the workshop and its outcomes. The ultimate goal is to create communities of fact-checkers in the area of politics, society, and the general election. 

In terms of the feedback, most participants voiced out their opinions that they learnt a great deal not only about the real risks of fake news but also the powerful power of social media platforms, which can be used both for good causes and evil causes. 

Fake news is not a new thing in the society. We have long been exposed to all kinds of propaganda. With the rise of the internet, we have found other ways to relay information without relying on traditional media outlets. Without knowing, a single story posted on any social media platform can go viral.   

Broadly speaking, fake news is a false narrative that is promoted and published by the manipulator as if it is real. It can seem so convincing that some people struggle to determine whether it is the truth or not. In some cases, manipulators use this tactic to stir up and intensify social conflict, which can finally lead to violence and tragic events. In a world where fake news is widely used to manipulate people’s perceptions of reality, fact-checking is a necessary 21st-century skill. Without it, you might fall victim to the manipulator. 

The takeaway message is that ''Everyone can be a fact-checker' 

This article is written by Tanathorn Songrujirapatt (Project Assistant of FNF Thailand)

From left to right, Dr. Uachit Wirojtrairat, Mr. Chokchai TakPho, Ms. Thanisara Ruangdej, Mr. Suchai Charoenmukhayanan