On the initiative of journalists’ association, political parties in Uruguay to sign a pact against misinformation

All political parties with representation in the Uruguayan parliament are set to sign an Ethical Pact against misinformation on April 26. The initiative was born of the Uruguayan Press Association (APU) with the purpose of politicians committing to "not generate or promote false news or disinformation campaigns to the detriment of adversaries" in the next electoral contest, reported Observacom.

The president of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, as well as the former presidents Julio Sanguinetti and José Mujica confirmed their presence at the signing ceremony for the pact, the APU reported.

As Luis Corbello, press secretary of the APU, told Radio Uruguay, the initiative was formalized last December, and international organizations and civil society organizations joined.

Organizations such as UNESCO, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and digital platforms such as Google and Facebook showed support for this initiative, described by some experts as "virtually unique in the world," according to Observacom.

"No one can guarantee that there will be no false news, what we ask the parties is that they neither generate it nor promote it," Corbello said, according to a statement from the APU.

Accompanying this pact, within the framework of the "Clean Campaign of False News" also from the APU, the organization hopes to train journalists in the fight against so-called fake news, reported Observacom. Representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook, as well as data verification initiatives from the region, such as those of Argentina and Brazil, will support this training, Observacom added.

"We are interested in our colleagues having tools to discern when false news appears and being able to quickly take it out of circulation," Corbello told Radio Uruguay. "Precisely the other leg of this campaign has to do with supporting news verification mechanisms (...) in Uruguay, the creation of an information checking mechanism called verificado.uy is beginning to be developed with a lot of force.”

The initiative is driven by newspaper la diaria, the weekly Búsqueda and the program En perspectiva, as well as universities in the country. "The idea is that it be established so that it continues working permanently, not only for political or electoral issues," Corbello added.