Sorting Fact from Fiction: Nigeria's 2019 Elections

Our methodology during the elections was a highly focused version of our usual fact-checking process. A small team of seven individuals each had individualised functions. We had two spotters who monitored the online space, including Facebook groups, Twitter accounts and WhatsApp groups. The groups we monitored had already previously been tagged in our ever-expanding database as sources of disinformation, through research and online mapping efforts that will be described further below. The spotters would then forward news stories that were popular (for example over a hundred shares on Twitter) to the fact-checkers. This ensured that we highlighted and countered stories that were significant and prevented us from popularising false information that may not have reached a wide audience until our fact-check. The process for checking the validity of a story during the elections was facilitated by our nationwide-wide network of election observers in each of Nigeria's 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This meant that our fact-checkers could reach out to an observer in any state to confirm a story.