South-Sudan Facts Matter fact-checkers network
#defyhatenow was initiated in early 2014, and from 2015 through 2018, with means of the German Federal Foreign Office via the ifa/zivik programme, r0g_agency conducted the project: ‘Mobilising Civic Action Against Hate Speech and Directed Social Media Incitement to Violence in South Sudan’ and its neighbouring countries Kenya, Uganda and Sudan. In 2019 a #defyhatenow Community Based Organisation was legally registered in South Sudan, while further crisis intervention initiatives have been introduced in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Sudan. #defyhatenow seeks to support those voices acting against the conflict to go ‘viral’ within and outside the country – bringing the diaspora into the online peace building framework, bridging gaps of knowledge and awareness of social media mechanisms between those with access to technology and those without.
Through this project, Defy Hate Now aimed to increase the health of information shared, setting up and supporting the South Sudan Fact-checkers network. The network has over 25 journalists who have been working on fact-checking stories and investigations over a period of 3 months.
Journalists who were part of the Facts Matter fellowship benefited from training programs, monthly meet-ups, webinars, access to Internet and other resources needed to accomplish their fact-checking and investigate work. Fellows developed media content that is shared on online and on traditional media channels with the aim of reaching the wider South Sudanese audience. The aim was to occupy the media space with factual information and create an environment for trust among stakeholders and citizens. This has resulted in a post about the new fellowship in action, and four stories so far – examples below.
Facts Matter blog postLaunch of Facts Matter fellows
One of the works to come out of the fellowshipFellowship story on sports
Another work to come out of the fellowshipFellowship story: hate speech