In the information-overloaded era, misinformation has gained a lot of traction, especially in the recent past, and rightly so. The increasing reliance on the internet and social media platforms as a source of information has aided the dissemination of unverified information and aggravated the problem of misinformation. Even as millions of Indians continue to come online every year, there is no clear guideline for these ‘first generation mobile only’ internet consumers.
FactShala, a news and information literacy initiative launched by Internews in collaboration with DataLeads, aims to meet the need for an all-encompassing program that helps adults in non-metros discern media messages, especially in regional languages.
To understand the extent of impact achieved by FactShala in making the trainees understand their information ecosystem better, identify misinformation, and connecting them to trustworthy sources of information, CMS conducted a comprehensive Impact Assessment Study of the said project during July 2021 to December 2021.
The findings of the study outline the impact of the program and contributes towards understanding how such initiatives help in building resilience to misinformation within communities experiencing exponential growth in access to and use of the internet. The findings also highlight the importance and need of such training programs, especially with the expansion of social media penetrating into rural India day by day.