Media and civil organizations are uniting across Mexico under the hashtag #Verificado2018 ('Verified2018') to fight fake news ahead of the July 1 general elections.
Members of the social media movement include AJ+Spanish, The Huffington Post, El Universal, Newsweek-Spanish and Political Animal. Together, they have vowed to trawl the internet to verify factual reports while red-flagging false or biased news.
The idea for #Verificado2018 emerged after the 2016 U.S. elections and Donald Trump's rise to the presidency. Research suggests more than 10 million U.S. voters were exposed on social media to fake news by Russian agents in a bid to influence the outcome.
Several presidential candidates have already denounced the spread of fake news in the countdown to the elections: leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized media outlets for allowing themselves to be manipulated by his opponents.
This year's elections are important: not only is the presidency at stake, but so are 3,400 positions in Congress and state governments.
The hashtag #Verificado2018 was originally launched by a small group of Mexican journalists after the September earthquakes, when they provided a direct connection between victims and the media to help eliminate the spread of false information.
The key to a transparent political movement is clear, accurate and dependable information, the group says.
"Who is the alliance of #Verificado2018 in Mexico? Journalists from all over the country will be denouncing 'fake news' and commenting on the promises politicians during the #Elections2018."
"Combating misinformation requires all of us: technology companies, media, educational institutions and our own community," Luis de Uriate, of the Strategic Alliance, posted on Facebook.
"That is why we are happy to join Verified, an initiative supported by prestigious media and organizations in the country that seeks to improve the quality of information."
The movement plan to verify candidates' speeches, interviews, proposals, statistics and campaign promises throughout the elections – including three scheduled debates – to ascertain the validity of their claims.
#Verificado2018 is also launching a Whatsapp number to foster transparency, while information about the electoral process and voting-day figures will be published on the organization's website and social media accounts.