Our Mission: Media Development Foundation (MDF) launched its fact-checking and myth debunking platform – Myth Detector – in 2014, to uncover truth behind the lies, explore hidden agendas, raise the level of media literacy and inform both people and institutions of Georgia about the impacts of disinformation.
Since November 2019, Myth Detector is a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) of the Poynter Institute, working alongside with 100 fact-checkers from more than 70 countries around the world and member of#CoronaVirusFacts Alliance and WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub.
In September 2020, Myth Detector partnered up with Facebook to fight against misinformation in the framework of Facebook’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program. Myth Detector reviews and rates the accuracy of content aiming to improve the quality and authenticity of stories in the News Feed. When rated false, Facebook shows the story lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution and warning people who see the post or try to share the post that it has been marked as false. Facebook pays Myth Detector to perform this service for them but it has no say or influence over what Myth Detector fact-checks or what the conclusions are, nor does it want to.
Since 2016, MDF is cooperating with EUvsDisinfo – the flagship project of the European External Action Service’s East StratCom Task Force and is a member of the Open Information Partnership (OIP) bringing together think tanks, fact-checkers, independent media and grassroots organisations to support efforts to counter hostile information influence operations.
What we do
MDF examines manipulative media content from various directions:
- Information influence activities by foreign country (direct propaganda by Russian government sponsored media and indirect anti-Western propaganda by cloaked media outlets);
- Domestic political propaganda (use of trolls and fake pages in social media for political purposes);
- Spread of false information for economic purposes (click bait web-pages).
To reveal information influence activities of foreign countries as well as misinformation activities of local actors, the MDF applies an approach consisting of the following four steps:
- Identify. Media monitoring is conducted to study anti-Western messages, sources of these messages, framing of narratives and to understand a broader context. Moreover, the monitoring enables to identify content that is either fake or manipulative.
- Deconstruct. Fake or manipulative content is checked and real facts are established through open sources and transparent methodology.
- Study into transparency of sources. Transparency of sources means establishing formal or informal owner of a media outlet, studying its financial transparency and informing society about the reliability of a news source.
- Explain. Informing society about propaganda methods and techniques used in spreading fake news intentionally by an interested party in order to harm society. Media literacy enhances resistance of society, enabling citizens to identify and filter out fake news and making them less vulnerable to such information.
The webpage is pentalingual, publishing information in Georgian, English and Russian regularly and in Armenian and Azerbaijani periodically to duly inform minorities living in Georgia.
Myth Detector’s parent organization, the Media Development Foundation, is a Non-Entrepreneurial (Non-Commercial) Legal Entity registered in Georgia. More information about the legal status of the MDF and its governing body is available here.
More information about the mission, values, activities and governance structure of MDF is available here.
We acknowledge the need for financial transparency; hence, MDF’s financial data is regularly updated on its website. (Available here).
The governing body (board) of MDF has no involvement in the editorial activities and decisions undertaken by Myth Detector. Editorial decisions are undertaken solely by the editorial team:
Myth Detector’s Editorial Team:
- Tamar Kintsurashvili, Editor-in-Chief of Myth Detector, Executive Director of MDF
- Maiko Ratiani, Deputy Editor-in-Chief
- Sandro Gigauri, English-language Editor
- Arabella Kordzakhia, Russian-language Editor
Activities and decisions regarding Myth Detector’s communication and campaign strategy are undertaken by Myth Detector’s communications manager – Mariam Akhalkatsi.
Detailed information about the staff of Myth Detector is available here.
Myth Detector’s Methodology is available here.
Myth Detector’s Code of Conduct is available here.