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

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: