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The information wars: who verifies the verifiers?

Wednesday 12 July 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


The recently launched BBC Verify promises to combat the proliferation of fake news and deep-faked images and videos online. We live in the age of the fact-checkers: groups and individuals who take on the responsibility of determining what is true, what is false, and what is fake online. With all of the dis-, mis- and even mal-information, there are indeed serious challenges to the ideal of a democratised public sphere. But who determines what’s true and false?

The Twitter Files revealed how ideology can influence the ‘objective’ verification process and how unaccountable bodies become gate keepers of truth. With shadow banning, algorithmic manipulation and suppression of sheer opinion, is the media accountable? Can verification ever be non-partisan?

This salon discussion tackles the growing role of fact-checking in the media, and the implications for freedom of speech, truth and journalism. Are initiatives like BBC Verify a welcome extension of the watchdog role of journalism, or do they do more harm than good? Who fact-checks the fact-checkers?

Poppy Coburn freelance commentator and journalist
Sam Rubinstein history student and writer
Max Sanderson editor of weekly podcasts, Guardian

Felice Basbøll project assistant, Ideas Matter

This event is free, but places are limited, so please book via Eventbrite.

Explaining the ‘how’ – the launch of BBC Verify
Deborah Turness, 22 May, BBC News

‘Fundamentally dangerous’: reversal of social media guardrails could prove disastrous for 2024 elections
Kari Paul, 10 Jun, Guardian

The BBC isn’t exposing disinformation. It’s peddling it
Jonathan Cook, 2 Jun, Middle East Eye

The tyranny of ‘misinformation’
Tim Black, 26 Oct 2020, Spiked

What Were the Twitter Files
Branko Marcetic, 26 Apr, The Nation

Gary Lineker: free speech, political debate and impartiality
Alastair Donald, Claire Fox, Ella Whelan and Rob Lyons, 13 May, Podcast of Ideas


Wednesday 12 July 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Ideas Matter Club
5-8 The Sanctuary
London, England SW1P 3JS United Kingdom
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