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When fact-checking is not WEIRD: Negotiating consensus outside Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) countries

Vinhas, O. & Bastos, M. T. ORCID: 0000-0003-0480-1078 (2023). When fact-checking is not WEIRD: Negotiating consensus outside Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) countries. Harvard International Journal of Press Politics, doi: 10.1177/19401612231221801


This study unpacks the emerging framework of detection, verification, and correction of falsehoods developed by fact-checkers outside Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) countries. We explore a series of semi-structured interviews carried out in several languages with 37 fact-checking experts from 35 organizations in 27 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Our findings emphasize the contextual nature of the falsehoods that these professionals deal with on a daily basis, and the many strategies they employ to navigate cultural and political obstacles while strengthening social cohesion locally. We review these findings against the literature in the area and argue that the prevailing framework of fact-checking, where mis- and disinformation are reduced to individual and behavioral problems, underplays the social and historical dimensions driving disinformation and propaganda.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © the authors, 2023. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( Request permissions for this article.
Publisher Keywords: fact-checking, non-WEIRD countries, misinformation, metajournalistic discourse, interviews, thematic analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Media & Communications
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