Chicas Venezuela: Create a digital tool for citizens to help verify false information

By Marjuli Matheus

Developers, designers and journalists will work to produce prototypes in the Fact Checking Hackathon, which will take place on September 22 and 23 at the Wayra Academy in Caracas.

Caracas, September 4, 2018.- With the aim of combating false contents and building a better society based on truth and verified facts, a meeting of programmers, designers and journalists will be held on September 22 and 23, 2018 , at the Wayra Venezuela Academy.

In this Fact Checking Hackathon, participating teams will have to develop the prototype of a fact checking technological application that will make it easier for citizens, journalists and the media to confirm the veracity of a viral content.

This initiative is organized by Chicas Poderosas in Venezuela and the media alliance, El Pitazo and Tal Cual, with the support of SDI Consultores and the sponsorship of the British Embassy in Caracas.

“We want developers and designers to help journalists shape a technological tool that allows citizens to help quickly verify false news circulating on social networks and through WhatsApp,” explained Carmen Riera, director of SDI Consultores and Project Manager of

The winner of the hackathon will receive as a prize a financing, which will be provided by the British Embassy in Venezuela and will allow them to work on the development of the prototype they present, until achieving a product that can be of service to citizens. The participants will be able to propose a technological solution for an own idea of ​​fact checking.

“We need everyone’s collaboration to combat false information and build a better society based on truth and confirmed facts,” added Yelitza Linares, director of SDI Consultores and business leader of El Pitazo.

It is the first time that three Venezuelan digital media have come together to create a project to train journalists. They will have the backing of SDI Consultores, which has carried out three hackathons in Caracas: one for migrations, another for smart cities and the latest in data journalism, which it did in 2016, with Chicas Poderosas Venezuela and the Hack Academy, from which emerged Monitor de Víctimas, a winning platform for an award in the Data Journalism Award 2018.

This time, the 4Geeks Academy will help put the emphasis on the development of prototypes -in the Api of WhatsApp Business- that work and that can continue to develop into a useful product for society.

Two days before the hackathon, 25 journalists will be trained in a workshop with international guests on verification methodologies. These professionals, mostly women, were selected in a closed process. After their training, they will join the hackathon, which will be open to designers and developers, to form multidisciplinary teams.

During the workshop, the Chequeamos methodology will also be presented, the Venezuelan version inspired by Check Checking platform and Colombia Check.

In Venezuela, Chequeamos partnered with Chicas Poderosas for verification and fact checking mechanisms such as El Poder de Elegir, a Chicas Poderosas project that emerged in Colombia and that already operates in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

“In El Poder de Elegir we put the focus on verifying those contents that are viral in WhatsApp, which impact everyone’s life and that are not necessarily true”, explained Marjuli Matheus, leader of the project Checked and ambassador of Chicas Poderosas In Venezuela.

The headquarters of the hackathon will be at the Wayra Venezuela Academy, Xerox Tower, 6th floor, Ávila Avenue, Caracas, Capital District. Those interested in participating must register in the following link, because the quota is limited.

For more information, you can follow @poderosasve and @SDIinnovacion on Twitter, Chicas Poderosas Venezuela and SDI Consultores on Facebook or write to email. [email protected]

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