TruthBuzz: The Viral Fact-Checking Contest

TruthBuzz: The Viral Fact-Checking Contest


Folks, the global TruthBuzz challenge aims to invent new ways to help verified facts reach the widest possible audience. This is being hosted by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).

TruthBuzz wants your creative solutions for taking fact-checking beyond long-form explanations and bullet points. The Craig Newmark Foundation has teamed up to support 'em and we’re looking for ideas — — from everyone, not just journalists — that turn fact-checking into engaging, visual, and interactive stories that are instantly understandable and shareable.

We welcome entries in any digital format and in all languages.

Submit your entry using this link.

The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of US$10,000. After the contest closes, we’ll showcase all of the entries on a public site where the global truth-telling community can learn from and use these fact-checking storytelling strategies.

What TruthBuzz Is Looking for:

A successful entry to TruthBuzz will refute or clarify a false or misleading report or statement in an engaging, entertaining way that convinces audiences of its veracity and encourages them to share it.

The entry can take the form of a digital-media creation such as a video, cartoon, graphic, animated GIF, photo, quiz, audio file, game, or something we haven’t even thought of. In addition to submitting an entry, you must submit a short application. Your application should:

  • Explain how your project corrects a falsehood
  • State which sources are used to determine the facts
  • Describe how your project uses innovative techniques to spread the truth quickly
  • Include a sample social media post that uses your fact-checking invention

Applications must be filled out in English. Entries will be accepted in all languages, and should be able to serve as a model that others can replicate.

TruthBuzz Application deadline: June 30. Submit your entry using this link.

What it Takes to Win:

An international panel of judges will select three winners. Submissions will be evaluated based on the originality of the proposal and its potential to help audiences differentiate fact from fiction and spread the word widely.

The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 (USD) respectively.

Some Additional Resources:

I'd like you to submit an application. I know lots of folks have good ideas, and ICFJ and the Craig Newmark Fund want to crowdsource ideas to elevate factchecking. Like I say, a trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy.



Jay DeLung

Thanks Craig for doing this. I'm putting some thought into it myself lol.

I think you need to re-invent YouTube, have it EASILY categorized like Craigslist.

People from Buzzfeed and the like would love to devote time to making fact checking channels of all sorts, so a viewer could know exactly which channel to watch for his or her own easily understandable fact checking in small or long video form. Then the views from the channels would dictate which channels actually stay or go, in the long term

but whatever you do Craig, please understand…. THANK YOU for doing this
fake news,

Hayley Kaplan

I think that the simple act of having a contest such as this and also all of the media buzz around fake news is doing an excellent job of letting people know they have to think twice about anything they hear or read, especially if it arouses emotions in them. Seeing discussions and articles about this consistent problem in all of my social media feeds has certainly heightened my awareness.

Number 45 mentions fake news every time he doesn't like what's being said about him and that reaches a significant number of people to plant the seed that fake news exists, regardless if it pertains to the exact news #45 is referring to or not.

I found myself with a type of ransomware infection after clicking on a fake news article on Facebook so hopefully by continuing to draw attention to this problem and to warn about this criminal aspect of fake news, people will learn to control impulses to stop themselves from even reading fake news. We all need to learn restraint (myself included) and to stop sharing it because it elicits an emotion for us. Getting out a list of legitimate sources for responsibly reported news and teaching people to only get their news from those sources will also be helpful. It's a daunting task, but fortunately, we're already on our way to doing it.


You are approaching this all wrong. Fact-checking makes absolutely no sense because society itself is based on lies.

Why don't you start by fact-checking all religions?

Then you can fact-check why central banks are privately owned like our Federal Reserve. Doesn't make sense, right? For a central bank of a country to be owned by private interests?

Then you can fact check all historical events with what? Who is an objective person or group of people when it comes to historical events? They say the winner writes history. So much for actual non-biased facts.

The only things that you can fact check are verifiable scientific phenomena like aspects of physics, chemistry, and biological phenomena. Everything else is based on someone's own opinion or observation. And nowadays almost everything can be faked with special effects and CGI, so even video and audio recordings can't always be trusted depending on the context.

If you want to help people understand reality better, don't spoon feed them curated "facts", teach them how propaganda works. Teach them critical-thinking skills. Teach them to be very critical of those with massive amounts of power and wealth, especially people who have had it for a very long long time because it most likely came from doing very shady, illegal, or barbaric things in the past. That's real human nature. People are animals. They are warlike. They try to steal, kill, manipulate, and dominate each other. Once you come to that realization and that history and "facts" have historically been dictated by those in power, you will immediately become very skeptical of any sort of "fact-checking" machine or group.

What gives that platform or those people the authority to tell anyone else what is real and what is fake or what is true and what is false? Can they measure it? Can they scientifically prove it using physics, chemistry, biology? Can it be seen on a map or a satellite? Who is financing this fact-checking platform or scheme? Better yet, even if it isn't financed by a small wealthy group of people, what is the political or sociological agenda of the people who predominately control the levers of such a platform?

Before you should even think about pursuing such a project as a fact-checking platform, you need to have a philosophical self-reflection on if this is even the best course of action to improving society as a whole. Because you are going to just be building more and more sophisticated tools for a problem you can't solve by creating tools that can interchangeably be used to verify facts or verify propaganda as facts for people who have or want to dominate everyone else by controlling what they think with "fact-checking".

Instead, teach people how to critically think, how to question, how to see and research conflicts of interest, how to deduce tactics for psychological manipulation. People should know what a straw man argument is. They should be familiar with what the following terms are, what they mean, and how they are used against others: ad hominem, non sequitur, gaslighting, minimizing, denial, selective inattention, selective focus of discussion, rationalization, diversion, evasion, covert intimidation, guilt tripping, virtue signaling, shaming, victim stancing, vilifying the victim, servant role, seduction, blame shifting, feigning innocence, feigning confusion, brandishing anger, false indignation, acting as moral authority, protector of freedom, appeal to authority, for your safety, for the greater good, appeals to "protecting children", slippery slope argument, false equivalence, projection, quid pro quo, anecdotal, pathological lying, yellow journalism, newspeak, propaganda, Machiavellianism, gateway, gatekeeper, oligopolies, oligarchy, conglomerate, neoliberal, neoconservative, globalism, neoimperialism, corporatocracy, social Marxism, social justice warriors, leftist, social conservatism, fiscal conservatives, techno-libertarians, theocracy, theocratic state, separation of church and state, religiosity, religious logic, dogmatic, appeal to a higher power, the history of and forming of religions, ruling class, class system, caste system, feudalism, false flag event, false flag terrorism, psyop, problem reaction solution, the full list of all types of logical fallacies, and I could go on and on. Until people understand the full breadth of the terms I just mentioned among many others and the varying contexts and methodologies in which they are used and how, your pursuit of a "fact-checking" platform will be fruitless, counterproductive, and even very damaging to overall knowledge and truth in society.

Work on getting people to understand these things first, hopefully from an early age, and you will have a very informed and educated public that can critically think. Otherwise, most of our problems stem from the people in control of society with the vast majority of the power and wealth. Maybe work on an anonymous whistle-blowing system that targets those people instead. I think you will get a lot more beneficial change for society if you were able to accomplish that successfully.



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