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The Foolitzer Prizes Announce the 2018 Winners of Worst Fake News

Brazil combats misinformation by awarding the year’s worst fake news.

“Fake news” has been featured prominently in the world lately. Now the Brazilian website E-farsas—literally “e-farces”—and Leo Burnett Tailor Made are doing something about it.

"The big challenge in fighting fake news is to find out the people behind the sites that spread them. Oftentimes, even the phone numbers and addresses on the pages are fake. And of course, within this context of bad faith and anonymity, the awarding of this prize is not exactly welcome. But that’s precisely the whole idea behind the award: to expose and badger the authors of this type of news for their disservice to society as a whole and to serious journalism in particular", explains Wilson Mateos, Creative VP for Leo Burnett Tailor Made.”

Together with Leo Burnett, E-farsas launched The Foolitzer Prizes. An allusion to the famous Pulitzer Prize, which honors achievements in journalism, the Foolitzers were created to acknowledge the worst fake news of the year.

The awards’ intention is to give the creators of fake news what they don’t want: the spotlight. For the inaugural awards, E-farsas curated the most egregious stories across six categories: politics, sports, health, entertainment, conspiracy and Gran Foolitzer—the only category to be chosen by the public.

To promote the awards, Leo Burnett Tailor Made prepared a two-stage campaign, first announcing the awards and then revealing the winners.

The voting period began on Jan. 15, with winners announced at the end of March. Winners received actual awards from The Foolitzer Prizes, medal coins with the inscription “Worst Fake News of the Year 2018” with the E-farsas logo, as well as highly-visible, public promotion to make people aware that the websites are fake news producers. The winning sites were spread with the support of the country’s major media groups through hundreds of street furniture, print ads, internet banners and even a banner-towing plane.

January 23, 2019