Colombiacheck was launched by the Colombian journalists' network Consejo de Redacción (CdR), with support from DW Akademie, after the divisive 2018 national election.
The run-up to Colombia’s closely-fought national election in 2018 was marked by the widespread use of misinformation and false reports. In response, the Colombian journalists’ network Consejo de Redacción (CdR) launched “Colombiacheck” to examine and verify the statements and alleged facts shared by politicians and parties.
CdR journalists say it makes an impact when politicians realize their statements can be verified. CdR head Dora Montero says their methodology has to, and does, meet international fact-checking standards.
Journalists train young students in fact-checking, and the team closely examines statements and claims made by politicians and other stakeholders.
Colombiacheck activists want to strengthen social debates by making it harder to spread false statements. The members check and compare statements with various independent sources and then put them in categories ranging from "true," "slightly/ strongly exaggerated" or "overly simplified", to "misleading" or "false."
During the presidential election campaigns, for example, photos were posted online showing prominent FARC members wearing T-shirts printed with the campaign logo of the incumbent president’s rival. The photos were shared widely on WhatsApp groups, but Colombiacheck countered the action by creating its own meme showing the photos were fakes.
The fact-checkers have expanded their remit to cover “truth and lies” about Covid-19 and other issues.