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A Google-Funded ‘Fact Check’ Team is a Handful of Indians With No Experience in Journalism in a Small Town Near Bangladesh.

The "fact check" team appears to have little to no experience in journalism.

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Last week Instagram notified me that a viral post I had published was “fact checked” by a group called ‘The Healthy Indian Project’. My mother is from Bombay, and I did lose 40lbs last year, but I didn’t think they had created an entire unit just for me. So, I decided to find out who this group is. My findings are bemusing.

The Healthy Indian Project (‘THIP’) appears to have started as a fitness and lifestyle site in 2018. Its CEO – Sudipta Sengupta – is a life-long marketing consultant from a small city (Gurgaon, Haryana) in India.

The group is a member of the high-profile Poynter network called the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), though a two separate audits of its membership reveal concerns about non-partisanship, transparency, and the organization’s finances with a particular focus on a grant from the U.S.-based search engine Google:

“The applicant has shared proof of its status as a legally registered company. It has provided a balance sheet that indicates that the funding comes from its directors. They have mentioned a grant from Google this does not reflect in the balance sheet, we do not know if it accounts for more than 5% of the revenue. The balance sheet does not reflect any income or expenses.”

– IFCN assessor Surekha Deepak.

The network was added to Facebook’s “fact-checking” program – which includes Instagram – in the summer of 2021.


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Raheem J. Kassam

Raheem Kassam is the Editor-in-Chief of the National Pulse, and former senior advisor to Brexit leader Nigel Farage. Kassam is the best-selling author of 'No Go Zones' and 'Enoch Was Right', as well as a co-founder of the War Room podcast, a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute, and a fellow at the Bow Group think tank in London. Kassam is an academic advisory board member at the Institut des Sciences Sociales, Economiques et Politiques in Lyon, France.