Univision Launches First Spanish-Language Fact-Checking Initiative To Empower Latino Voters

Univisión has upped its 2016 presidential election coverage by launching Detector de Mentiras (translates to Lie Detector), the first Spanish-language fact-checking initiative in the United States.

According to their website, Detector de Mentiras will be a collaborative effort between journalists and readers to verify statements made by candidates, organizations, and other political actors during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Poynter Institute reported that, while the team of journalists behind Detector de Mentiras will accept suggestions from readers for statements to fact-check, they will focus mainly on "'issues that are central to the Hispanic population' such as immigration, education and health care."

Latino journalists have already added enormous value to 2016 election coverage, bringing a perspective that more accurately reflects and addresses the issues that deeply impact and are most important to Hispanic audiences. The Univisión initiative will benefit Spanish-speaking voters since the network, equipped with the unique understanding of which issues its audience prioritizes, can tailor its fact-checks to better inform Latino voters who will help decide the 2016 election.

Alejandro Fernández Sanabria, an investigative journalist for Detector de Mentiras, explained in a statement to Media Matters how empowering Latinos by giving them the tools to make informed decisions is at the root of the initiative:

Since Hispanics are so important for this election, they should rationally decide their vote. This is why we try to filter objective facts from exaggerations, ad hominem arguments, imprecisions, lies and opinions based on myths and prejudices. This bad information comes from candidates, sure, but also from social media, from the press, and other political actors. We want to be a platform that young Hispanic critical thinkers interested in politics and the future of this country can rely on.

We assume that good and reliable information is the genesis of a good decision. This works for voting decisions, of course. We hope we can give Hispanics resources for them to understand what is happening in politics, how political events can affect them, and what is true and what is false when they consume information. A well-informed citizen is a powerful citizen. Fact-checking empowers citizens. That is our business.