Credit: Photo by Elliott Stallion on Unsplash

Fact-checking tool Newsguard has launched a set of resources to help newsrooms combat misinformation around this year's many elections.

The Election Misinformation Tracking Center has already started publishing trends and myths surrounding the elections US and Taiwan. There will be more to come as more than 60 countries head to the polls in 2024, including the UK, Ukraine, India and more. The European Union elections are also happening this year.

Newsguard has a team of journalists trained as disinformation analysts using AI tools to detect emerging, early narratives and dangerous sources spreading falsehoods online.

Analysts are monitoring content across 963 websites and 793 social media accounts and video channels known to post misleading claims about elections. This includes hundreds of websites and accounts promoting disinformation narratives from Russia, China, and Iran.

For context, Newsguard identified 166 sites spreading voting misinformation in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 US election, producing narratives that lingered for up to three years. Myths about voter fraud — mail-in voting, election machines, and vote counting, among other topics — were also evident in the national elections in France, Germany, and Italy, and once more in the US 2022 midterms.

With the 2024 US elections in mind, Newsguard will also monitor 1,162 so-called "Pink Slime" websites. These are partisan websites masquerading as local news outlets, many of which are funded by political organisations unbeknown to readers.

Analysts have also discovered more than 700 websites classified as Unreliable AI-generated news websites (UAINs), which operate with little to no human oversight.

Newsguard maintains a UAIN Tracking Center and has rolled out an Election Safety Assurance Package to protect advertisers from being duped by AI-generated news websites. Top brands spend $2.6 billion of ad money on misinformation websites each year, according to a Comscore study based on Newsguard data.

"We have found that, with programmatic technology now placing 15 million ad impressions every second of every day, even advertisers who think they are avoiding risk by staying off news altogether are still ending up on some of the worst disinformation sites. Which is why our humanly vetted, constantly updated inclusion lists are now so important," says Steven Brill, co-founder of Newsguard, in a press release.

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