Civic Engagement - Digital Fact Checking
The Trust has developed a Civic Activism Awards Programme to allow voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations to bid for the opportunity to try out one of the 29 tools from the Tools Directory. Today: Digital Fact Checking Platforms.
The rise in open data and advances in digital technology increasingly enable members of the public to access fact checking tools and information through specialist organisations, such as Full Fact, which are focused on specific countries or regions.
Fact checking websites focus on enabling members of the public to check facts for themselves, or to read and respond to existing analysis.
From a wider perspective, the drive behind many of these organisations is to encourage and contribute to a broader societal debate, and to hold public figures, political groups and the media to account.
The groups behind fact checking websites tend to be independent non-profit organisations. They will often take on commissioned work, as well as taking suggestions or requests for specific fact checks from members of the public.
Fact Checking involves the provision of analysis, advice, information, source links and online tools all with the ultimate goal of answering one question: is what we are reading or hearing from public figures and the press actually true?
The basic model for a fact checking website is a blog-type format, with analysis of specific claims sorted by topic. Visitors to the site are encouraged to read the analysis and delve deeper into the background materials themselves.
Some sites encourage collaborative fact checking or provide advice on how individuals can go about checking a fact.
Who has used the tool?
Factcheck EU is a crowd-based fact checking site, positioned as a collaborative and bottom-up approach to the European debate.
Individuals can contribute to the site alongside the team of analysts, in one of four ways:
- Fact check a statement themselves
- Translate a statement
- Give a vote to a statement
- Upload a statement for fact checking
Fact checks on the website show an analysis of the statement alongside the average vote from readers. There is also a map of Europe showing the spread of all the fact checks on the website, using colour coding to indicate the level of confidence in each analysed statement.
To find out more about the Civic Activism Awards Programme click here.