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Fact-checking site in Congo releases sign language videos for people with hearing problems

Congo Check has launched these videos so that the deaf and hard of hearing also have access to real information, especially during the Covid pandemic.

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New Delhi: Congo Check, an information site that specialises in fact-checking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is now making videos for the deaf and hard of hearing people. “Everyone has the right to real, accurate information. Videos will be produced to allow the verified items to reach everyone,” tweeted Rodriguez Katsuva, co-founder of Congo Check.

At a time when the world is already dealing with a deadly pandemic, dangerous misinformation is also floating about. Congo Check stated that “The deaf and hard of hearing also have the right to real information, especially in this time of #Covid19.”

Launched in the beginning of 2018, the Congo Check team is composed of mostly young independent journalists, scattered across the country, who aim to “fight against false information that has become commonplace on the internet in the DRC, most of which is disseminated by malicious people on social networks and sometimes by websites.”

The website includes a directory that names online publications deemed false after Congo Check has fact-checked their article, as well as a programme called Barometer of promises, which evaluates “promises made by politicians and other leaders”.

The website maintains its independence by ensuring that “no member of the team is involved in political activities or that none of us maintains relationships with any political group or any citizen movement.”

It receives funding from some of its own members and technical support from Africa Check (a fact-checking organisation). In 2018, it received a Shuttleworth Grant of $5,000, which helped it to launch “the mobile application and redefine the website, but also to launch the promise barometer.” Three of its activities in the Factcheck Ebola programme are funded by Facebook, which “pays for training and for the publication of visuals”.

The website also has a separate section that fact-checks news related to the coronavirus outbreak in DRC. The country has reported 5,100 cases and 115 deaths.

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