This week, the company Chartbeat confirmed that the traffic Facebook sends to media outlets has dropped by 40% on a global average, with even more concerning spikes of up to 60% for Latin American media outlets. The study confirms a growing trend highlighting the vulnerability of the news world's heavy reliance on major digital platforms to showcase their content. This issue will be a central focus of the upcoming Global Disinformation Summit, taking place on September 27th and 28th in an online and free event, with registration available at this link.
Success stories at the Summit
The challenge of giving visibility to reliable and verified content generated by media outlets and fact-checking initiatives has been one of the main topics in the past year. In this regard, with the support of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and funding from Google, a program aimed at enhancing the reach of verified content is currently in development. The IFCN at the Poynter Institute will be part of the Global Disinformation Summit to share the insights from this initiative and showcase the strategies that have been effective in improving the reach of news and verified content.
Another proposal to be featured at the summit is the initiative jointly driven by Bolivia Verifica and Project Desconfío, which focuses on creating graphic pieces for WhatsApp as a strategy to enhance the impact of monitoring hate speech on Bolivia's social media. During the summit, they will share their experiences and learnings, which may even lead to the creation of a Recommendations Guide for the distribution of verified content through WhatsApp, assisting other initiatives in improving their content distribution methods. The project is called "No al odio" ("Say No to Hate") and is part of the panel on verified content distribution at the Global Disinformation Summit.
The event organized globally by the Inter-American Press Association, Project Desconfío, and the Journalism Foundation will also present the case of the chatbot developed by Maldita in Spain. The WhatsApp-based system allows users to access verified content from the past week and provides guides and recommendations to identify false or misleading information in the digital landscape. This new functionality in their WhatsApp chatbot enables users to engage in micro-learning courses with multimedia content such as videos, audio, and images and confirm their knowledge through interactive quizzes.
The challenge of connecting with audiences
All these approaches aiming to expand the reach of verified content will provide valuable insights for media outlets looking to reduce their dependence on content distributed by major platforms and explore new avenues for disseminating reliable content. The recently published data by ChartBeat confirms a significant decline in traffic to news from Facebook across all regions of the world, with notable differences. In Latin America, the drop was 60%, going from an average of 87 million weekly views in January to less than 35 million in July. In North America, traffic fell by 46%, while in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the decrease was 39%.
With these findings, which only reinforce longstanding concerns of media outlets about being at the mercy of third parties for news distribution, the Global Disinformation Summit emerges as an intriguing platform for learning about success stories in the complex challenge of connecting with audiences.
The III Global Disinformation Summit is supported by the Google News Initiative, the International Fact-Checking Network, the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, the United Nations Argentina, BancoSol of Bolivia, and the Kimberly Green Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Florida International University (FIU). It is an online and free event that requires prior registration at www.cumbredesinformacion.com.
The summit is accompanied by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Medianálisis, Bolivia Verifica, National Press Association of Chile, GABO Foundation, DW Akademie, Infoveritas, Colombian Association of Media Information (AMI), Association of Argentine Journalism Entities (ADEPA), and United Nations Bolivia.