AI-driven platform launched to accelerate Arabic language fact-checking

January 2, 2023
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A consortium of technologists, policy consultants and media workers launched a free-to-use digital platform that combats disinformation in the MENA region. Using artificial intelligence, the platform helps fact-checkers more easily identify questionable claims requiring verification.


The platform, dubbed DALIL (an acronym for Disinformation Assessment, Listening and Investigation Lab), was developed with significant financial support from the European Union. DALIL automates manual, time-consuming content verification processes to increase the speed, scale, and impact of fact-checking in the region. Paired with embedded open source verification tools and a cross-platform publishing feature, DALIL is a one-stop shop for the full fact-checking workflow. The additional user forum feature also creates an innovative space for fostering collaboration between regional fact-checkers.


DALIL is one of the first fact-checking tools with an artificial intelligence model that can classify content in the Arabic language. This is especially important given the weakness of non-English language content moderation on social media, which has contributed to a proliferation of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech in the region.


DALIL is being developed by the Beirut-based tech consultancy Siren as part of the Arab Fact-Checkers Network Innovation and Resilience Project – a two-year initiative funded by the European Union and implemented in partnership with Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism and the Jordan Open Source Association.


Joris Heeren, Regional Manager of the EU Foreign Policy Instrument’s team responsible for the funding said: “We are glad to see the DALIL platform coming into shape in Arabic. This is part of the EU’s firm support to fight disinformation, while supporting media freedom globally and helping foster safe and healthy information environments worldwide”.


Eight fact-checking organisations based across the region are the first adopters of the DALIL platform. Over the next year, they will play a pivotal role in training DALIL’s AI model to recognise disinformation online. Once the accuracy of the AI model is refined, DALIL will then be opened up for wider use among MENA-based fact-checkers.


”Fact-checkers in the Arab world face a lot of challenges. Most operate with almost non-existent resources and face serious barriers to accessing information needed to verify claims. There are, additionally, no available fact-checking tools in the Arabic language to facilitate their work,” Saja Mortada, Manager of Arab Fact-Checkers Network at ARIJ, said. “Automation and AI in Arabic can break the back of the monitoring and identification stages, allowing Arab fact-checkers to focus their limited resources on where they will have the most impact.”


In addition to developing the DALIL platform, the project partners are offering fact-checkers within the Arab Fact-Checkers Network capacity building opportunities aimed at enhancing their digital safety as well as legal clinics.
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Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia
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