ABC cuts ties with problematic RMIT fact-checkers

After a seven-year partnership, the ABC has terminated its collaboration with RMIT's Fact Check operation, citing concerns over one-sided contributions and external pressures.

ABC cuts ties with problematic RMIT fact-checkers
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Following a seven-year collaboration, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has decided to sever ties with RMIT University's Fact Check operation.

The termination comes amid growing concerns over the impartiality and integrity of the fact-checking process, with allegations of one-sided contributions and external pressures influencing the outcomes.

RMIT's Fact Lab, which received over $670,000 in funding from the ABC, faced suspension by Meta after media investigation about adherence to fact-checking principles.

The investigation highlighted instances where the fact-checking director, Russell Skelton, allegedly engaged in biased campaigning on social media platforms.

Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini took RMIT to court over a contentious fact-check last year, with court documents revealing RMIT's bombshell secret agreement with Facebook.

Critics, including Senator James Paterson, have long been skeptical of RMIT's fact-checking operation, questioning its financial relationship with the ABC and its role in influencing public discourse. Despite regaining accreditation from the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), RMIT's Fact Lab has not published any fact checks since the fallout.

The decision by the ABC to establish an in-house verification team, ABC NEWS Verify, marks the end of the partnership with RMIT.

While RMIT expressed pride in its collaboration with the ABC, stating its 'commitment to upholding the integrity of public information,' the termination underscores ongoing debates surrounding fact-checking practices and media partnerships in Australia.

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