The United Nations (U.N.) has joined forces with prominent tech companies and Soros-funded organizations to introduce an “automated” fact-checking program aimed at countering alleged disinformation and hate speech on the internet.
Misinformation, disinformation & hate speech threaten peace & security, disproportionately affecting those who are already vulnerable.
— UN Development (@UNDP) June 18, 2023
Developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the iVerify platform seeks to tackle what they refer to as “online information pollution,” identifying it as a growing global challenge.
This new tool has been designed in collaboration with the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC), Meedan (a fact-checker funded by Facebook and Google), CrowdTangle (owned by Meta), and the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), backed by George Soros.
According to the U.N. Development Programme, the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech poses a threat to peace and security, particularly affecting vulnerable populations. The iVerify software acts as an automated fact-checking tool, enabling the identification and prevention of false information, as well as mitigating its dissemination.
The organization plans to implement this technology to national actors to enhance their ability to detect, monitor, and address threats to information integrity. Currently operational in Sierra Leone ahead of the country’s upcoming general elections on June 24th, the automated fact-checking tool could have a significant impact worldwide.
The U.N. stated the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the Independent Radio Network (IRN) will leverage the iVerify technology to strengthen the nation’s capacity in proactively identifying and addressing misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech.
BBC Media Action is also involved in the initiative, contributing to research efforts and the creation of social media content that raises awareness of what they call mis- and disinformation.
The system will establish dedicated tip lines on popular platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter.
Backed by the Irish and Swedish embassies, along with California-based Internews, the iVerify system, which underwent initial testing in Zambia in 2021, is scheduled for deployment ahead of the October elections in Liberia.
Criticism has already surfaced regarding this U.N. initiative, with prominent Canadian professor and psychologist Jordan Peterson dubbing the automatic fact-checking system an “Orwellian nightmare.”
Others feel the implementation of this automated fact-checking system, which suppresses dissenting opinions and alternative facts, is oppressive, controlling, and disregards the vital role of open discourse necessary for a functioning democracy.