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International Fact-Checking Day Celebrated Worldwide: #FactCheckIt!

Artwork for International Fact-Checking Day by Gianluca Costantini, used with permission. See more at bit.ly/factcheckit.

While April 1 celebrates jokes and white lies, April 2 has become a day of sobering up and fact-checking. As of this year, truth-seekers around the world introduced their own holiday — International Fact-Checking Day.

April Fool's Day celebrations possibly have their roots in the Roman Saturnalia, a carnival time when social roles were reversed, and when normally forbidden activities like gambling were allowed. Two thousand years later, it still takes the form of masquerades and a reversal of moral norms, allowing for pranks and harmless lies.

International Fact-Checking Day is promoted by the International Fact-Checking Network, founded by the Poynter institute in partnership with dozens fact-checking organizations around the world. International Fact-Checking Day is not a single event, but a diverse range of activities aimed at raising public awareness about the importance of facts — and fact-checking — in politics, journalism, and everyday life.

Bill Adair, Professor of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University, and the creator of PolitiFact, tweeted:

People celebrating the International Fact-Checking Day use the hashtag #FactCheckIt to promote activities which range from public events and workshops to a fake news sprint conducted by PolitiFact.

We celebrate the international day of Fact-checking. Tonight, we check foreign politicians.

Alexios‏ Mantzarlis, the director of the International Fact-Checking Network, has been using his Twitter profile to document and inform about many of the activities related to the day around the globe:

Taking into consideration the pressing need to incorporate media literacy and especially fact-checking into the educational system, the members of the fact-checking network prepared a free lesson plan, which has already been translated into 12 languages, with more translations on the way.

Introduce your class to the basics of fact-checking, and help them navigate through an ocean of information, rumors, hoaxes and lies with our lesson plan. The lesson plan was designed by fact-checkers and endorsed by instructional designers. It is conceived for students aged 14-16 but can be used with students of other ages too.

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