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Wanted: weblecture fact checkers

Running up to the Dutch Parliament elections, a group of diligent fact checkers under the moniker ‘Nieuwscheckers’ checked the validity of statements made by politicians and media outlets. Inspired by Nieuwscheckers’ success, a new task force was called to life: the Web Integrity Workgroup. Their aim: expanding the fact checking to include the weblectures provided by the Faculty of Humanities in order to secure the quality of its online education.

The attack on truth

A pilot fact check was conducted on a weblecture by philosophy lecturer Victor Gijsbers called Friedrich Nietzsche: the attack on truth. Two fact checkers scrutinized 15 of Gijsbers’ statements. The result: ten statements were true, two were unverifiable and two were questionable. One statement was blatantly false. In the words of one of the checkers: “Like, pants on fire untrue. Five Pinocchio’s. I can’t believe he actually made that statement with a straight face.” Gijsbers was unable to give an extensive reaction, but did explain: “I was only trying to present Nietzsche’s ideas.” Gijsbers was not able to answer the question whether he thinks fact checking weblectures is essentially a good idea.  The fact check report on Gijsbers’ weblecture will be posted online soon.

Join us!

There is a vast amount of online educational material to be checked, and to do so, we need more motivated fact checkers. Do you want to fact check weblectures? Do you have a knack for facts and do you want to contribute to the quality of education at the Faculty of Humanities? Then apply as a Weblectures fact checker before April 15th. The Web Integrity Workgroup budget allows for fact checkers to receive a small compensation.

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