BUSTED: RMIT quietly makes KEY changes to website after Meta cuts ties

After being dumped by Facebook as its approved Australian fact-checker, RMIT University makes adjustments to its FactLab website.

Remove Ads

RMIT University's FactLab has recently undergone subtle but meaningful changes to its website after a dramatic suspension from Facebook and Instagram's fact-checking operation.

Independent journalist, Rukshan Fernando, highlighted the fact-checking organisation's modifications and questioned the timing of these alterations.

Previously undisclosed financial agreements between RMIT FactLab and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, surfaced during Avi Yemini’s defamation case.

These revelations raised concerns about the lack of transparency from a supposed 'open fact check' institution. When delving into the website's “funding” section, Fernando discovered a statement revealing that they now openly accept funding from Meta.

RMIT also scrubbed information from its website which linked RMIT's FactLab to the ABC, after further revelations today showed that ABC's affiliated fact checking operation, which promotes itself as a member of IFCN's code, also has expired fact checking credentials.

Statements on RMIT's website that both fact-checking outfits worked “hand in hand” on fact checks was also removed in the latest website revision.

Simultaneously, RMIT FactLab, solicited public donations to combat disinformation. Fernando's investigation revealed that prior to the recent disclosures, the FactLab website did not mention receiving grants from the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), a significant accreditation body for fact checkers in the Meta platform.

A deeper dive by Fernando uncovered that IFCN, responsible for fact-checker accreditation, ties back to the Poynter Institute.

The IFCN’s notable funders include influential organisations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

Fernando scrutinised RMIT FactLab's prior claims of not accepting donations from political parties or advocacy groups. Given the political nature of some of their backers, questions emerge about the influence exerted on RMIT's fact-checks, especially during significant events like the pandemic.

Additionally, RMIT removed certain sections from their website. Previously, they stated they would not fact-check journalists or future events, yet recent fact checks seemed to contradict this claim.

RMIT's silent modifications suggest a bid for re-accreditation by IFCN. With these revelations, the integrity and independence of such institutions are under the microscope.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

  • By Avi Yemini

Secure your copy of Avi's new book today!

  • By Avi Yemini

Meet Avi Yemini on his book tour coming to a city near you!


Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads