Japanese fact-checking body set to counter online misinformation

The Yomiuri Shimbun

A Tokyo-based nonprofit organization is to launch the Japan Fact-check Center Saturday to confirm the accuracy of information shared online.

Articles that overstate the danger of COVID-19 vaccines and unconfirmed information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can spread online and develop into social problems.

The Safer Internet Association has established the Japan Fact-check Center as part of efforts to prevent the spread of fake news and other kinds of misinformation.

The center plans to publish at least 10 articles a month on the accuracy of information circulating on social media, written by members of its editorial team, which includes former journalists.

Articles published in newspapers such as The Yomiuri Shimbun will not be covered by the activities of the center.

A steering committee consisting of university professors will set operating guidelines and evaluate the center’s activities, and an audit committee will check organizational governance.

Yahoo Japan Corp. is contributing ¥20 million per year to support the center’s activities, and Google is contributing $1.5 million over two years.