Ontotext Participates in a Project Leveraging AI to Combat Climate Misinformation

FactCRICIS will strengthen fact-checker capabilities to counter disinformation challenges through a comprehensive technology resource pack

New York, Sofia, Basel Thursday, May 30, 2024

The European Fact-Checking Standards (EFCSN) network, in association with Ontotext and other European stakeholders, has announced the launch of a new project for improving the capacities of European fact-checking organizations to tackle crisis situations. It is called FactCRICIS: European Fact-Checking Response in Climate Crises and is co-funded by the European Union.

FactCRICIS will support fact-checkers to identify and debunk disinformation campaigns related to climate change and other crises, fostering more rapid, impactful, and coordinated responses within and across European borders.

For the project, Ontotext will work alongside the EFCSN and 21 of its member organizations, in conjunction with the Germany-based university TU Dortmund, the Spanish fact-checking and technological development organizations Newtral and Maldita.es, and the science and technology-focused fact-checking organization Science Feedback.

The project’s goal is to establish a comprehensive package of practical resources – combining cutting edge AI tools with climate expertise – designed to bolster the preparedness of European fact-checkers to respond to climate mis/disinformation and foster cross-border collaboration.

The past couple of years have shown that crisis situations serve as a hotbed for mis- and disinformation. Europe needs a media system that is able to react to this cross-border challenge immediately whenever it arises. That’s why we are enhancing the capacities of European fact-checkers through FactCRICIS – said Carlos Hernández-Echevarría, Chair of the EFCSN Governance Body.

One of the project’s outcomes will be a comprehensive database of climate-related mis- and disinformation and corresponding fact-checks. It will be enriched with sophisticated metadata to provide first-of-their-kind insights into false claims about climate change and related policy issues. 

Initially, the database will be used by fact-checking organizations, part of EFCSN, in a pilot program to test and improve the database. The European public will be able to access the database through a public website.

Building on its expertise in combining semantic technologies with state-of-the-art AI models, Ontotext will enhance the database with data enrichment and search features. These will include extracting events on climate change topics as well as AI-assisted approaches for narrative representation and discovery.

Want to stay up to date with key mis/disinformation trends identified and fact-checks produced using the database tools as well as other EFCSN project updates?

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This project is co-funded by the European Union under grant agreement No: LC-02869427. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.



For more information, contact Doug Kimball, Chief Marketing Officer at Ontotext