Full Fact started as an ambitious plan to fill an urgent need in British public life: to anchor public debate to reality. Since our inception as a three-person factchecking operation in 2010, we have grown to a team of 11, based in central London.
In its short history, Full Fact has significantly improved the accuracy of public debate. We publish factchecks and secure corrections, but we also champion a culture in which the public figures are held to higher standards of transparency and accountability.
Full Fact is a registered charity. We rely on donations from individuals, charitable trusts, and corporate supporters. We also earn money from running statistical masterclasses, and from our trading company, Full Fact Services. Click here to find out more about what we can offer your company. All donations greater than £5,000 are listed on our website, and no single source represents more than 15% of our income.
You can see our full list of funders on our funding page.
We have a cross party board of Trustees with the three big political parties represented. They have extensive experience in politics and journalism. As a charity, it’s the law that we aren’t allowed to take political sides.
The Board does not have any control over day-to-day editorial decisions. These are the responsibility of the Director.
We monitor the claims being made and the ones we’re factchecking on a weekly basis, to ensure we maintain balance.
All staff must complete a declaration of personal interests before they start work here. Our staff aren’t allowed to express opinions about political parties or issues. Volunteers are also asked to provide similar declarations.
Read more about our funding and neutrality here.
You do. We link to sources for factual statements so you don’t have to take our word for what we say. You can also find lots of our sources in our Finder tool.
We’d prefer you not to. Anything we put out should have a link to a source so you can make your own mind up about it.
We’re not trying to provide a verdict that everyone should adopt, we’re trying to make sure no one has to settle for either blindly trusting or distrusting what politicians say. Many of the issues we write about aren’t black and white – a lot of our job is showing up the grey areas.
We correct it. All our pieces are reviewed by more than one factchecker and we work hard to ensure that our work is done to the highest standard. But mistakes can happen.
If something isn’t correct we update it as quickly as possible and add a note to the piece to ensure people know that it has been corrected. We correct things as openly as possible.
Please let us know if there is anything you don’t think is correct at time of publication by contacting us on email@example.com and we will review the piece.
We cannot promise to check every claim suggested but we do promise to read all suggestions. We focus on immigration, health, the economy, crime, education and the law. We normally only check claims about the UK. Please say what impact you think the claim would have if it’s left unchecked.
We are a registered charity (1158683) and non-profit company (6975984). Our most recent accounts (2015) are filed with Companies House here.
We draw on publicly available information, such as statistics or primary research, to check claims. We can’t factcheck claims about some topics, like foreign affairs or defence, because the sources are classified or not independently verified.
We link to primary sources for all factual assertions. We prefer to link to the data tables, legal document, or relevant page of a PDF report — rather than a press release or summary of a statistical release. Within that we normally try to link to a specific table rather than a directory – although sometimes the user interface of the source website doesn’t allow that. For parliamentary records, we usually use anchor links to take you straight to the relevant quote.
Our Finder tool empowers you to do independent research round a topic rather than just following links we provide in a factcheck. It provides a guide to the key sources of information and a brief description of some of the variables each data source would be able to provide, so readers don’t have to navigate blind.
Occasionally we seek information or advice from external experts –and often we republish our expert partners’ work or commission explainers from them.
No. All our content is freely available to the public on our website, and on social media.
For copyright and re-publication requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From time to time we archive older content that may no longer be relevant or up to date. It's still visible, but there's a notice on it saying "This article is from our archive. It was originally published a few years ago."
For example, often our factchecks rely on statistics that are updated every three months. It's not always worth updating these when there are new statistics, but we want people to know that they may not be the latest numbers.
During the 2015 general election, we produced a podcast discussing the claims and counter-claims of the week. This was part of our election centre, which was largely funded by our crowdfunder and by the Nuffield Foundation.
We would love to make the podcast a regular feature of our work. Unfortunately we don’t at the moment have the resources or capacity to record and edit one on a regular basis, but stay tuned for future updates.
Full Fact was inspired by factchecking organisations in the United States, such as FactCheck.org and PolitiFact. These websites sometimes rate the validity of claims or people, such as PolitiFact’s ‘Truth-O-Meter’.
We feel that such ratings, while appealing at a glance, can sometimes be reductive, and not provide you with the information you need to understand the claim as a whole. It is often the case that a claim is not just ‘True’ or ‘False’, it just hasn’t given you the whole picture.
Full Fact has always sought a less combative, more collaborative approach to factchecking. Our mission is to ensure that the public has access to the best possible information, so work with decision-makers and opinion-shapers, as well as factchecking them, to help them to be more accurate and improve the overall quality of public debate.
The best way is to email email@example.com and it will be dealt with according to our feedback process. If you have difficulty with email, contact us by any other means and if you’re disabled we’ll do our best to make reasonable adjustments. Our phone number is 020 3397 5140. You can read our full complaints policy here.
No, we don’t. Recently we have partnered with Facebook to promote 10 tips to spot fake news. This promotion is part of our wider educational toolkit. We do not receive money from Facebook and do not work as third party factcheckers for them.
We also produce educational tools for use by students, teachers and the general public. From tips on spotting fake news, videos of our latest talks and what books to read to learn more about data, we aim to provide resources for you to use in daily life to check the claims that matter to you.
We factcheck claims in public debate (often, but not limited to, those made by politicians and the media) that are of national interest. Our core areas are based on the topics that repeatedly come top of the Ipsos MORI Issues Index, which asks the public: “What would you say is the most important issue facing Britain today?” The most popular answers are consistently: Crime and Immigration, the Law, Europe, Education, Health and Social Care, and the Economy.
We draw on publicly available information, such as statistics or primary research, to asses the validity of claims. For some topics, such as foreign affairs or defence, there is a lack of independent or unclassified sources, so we are unable to factcheck the claims. We also stay away from ethical dilemmas, where the facts aren’t really in questions. For scientific topics, such as the enviornment, we don't yet have the in house expertise to do them justice.
We are a registered charity. We would love to widen our remit in future, but we are limited by resources. Help us deliver more facts by making a donation.
First we need to understand the claim. We don’t only factcheck the evidence used in a claim, but also the underlying assumption. Factually correct information can be used to make a point which is misleading or incorrect, so it’s important to draw out exactly what someone means when they make a statement.
Then we contact the claimant. Unless the claim’s source is self-evident, we try to contact the claimant to ask them about their source, and for any other information we need to understand it.
Then we gather our evidence. We always try and gather a wide range of sources of evidence relating to a claim. You can read more about our sources in the “What kind of sources do you use?” question above.
Sometimes we contact experts. We cover a wide range of topic areas, and we’re not experts on everything. We want to ensure we’re giving readers the most complete picture we can, and sometimes we need guidance in finding or understanding information. In these cases we speak to relevant experts for advice.
Once the evidence is gathered and analysed, we can write the article. We don’t want to tell you what to think, articles are meant to guide you through all the evidence as clearly as possible so you can make up your own mind about a claim. We’ll also explain the wider context around the issue when it’s relevant to do so.
We summarise the claims we’re factchecking, and our corresponding conclusions, at the top of each article.
Review before publishing. Everything we publish on our website is reviewed by another researcher before publication in order to make sure that it is correct, impartial and engaging. If the topic is politically sensitive our Director may also review it.
Then we publish. The article will go up on our website, and will be publicised on our social media platforms. Often we have partnerships with different media outlets, who re-publish some of our factchecks.
It doesn’t stop there. When necessary, we ask for corrections to the record, and if important sources aren’t published we press for them to be.
Before each election we decide what our resources can support – in 2015 we decided to draw the line at the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP. However, we looked at some claims from other parties via leader’ debates live-checking – e.g. SNP, Green, Plaid Cymru.
We check claims that are of national interest in areas where we have expertise. This means that we don’t comprehensively factcheck claims that are specific to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. We would love to in future, but don't currently have the resources to support this.
It won’t always be possible to respond within minutes or seconds, so for some topics we won’t be able to say anything at all. But we have factchecked a wide range of topics in the past and we’ve built Full Fact Finder to help us respond quickly to new claims. We prepare carefully in the run up to political events or programmes, getting to know our way around the relevant sources, and the key claims and arguments.
We also try to work closely with experts in lots of different fields. If you’re an expert and can spare sometimes as little as a few minutes to help us factcheck claims in your field, please do get in touch.
Full Fact doesn’t currently run an internship programme, as we don’t have the resources to regularly support extra temporary members of the team. We do occasionally take on interns for specific projects - get in touch if you would like to find out more.
We are grateful for the support of the many volunteers who have collectively donated thousands of hours of their time to Full Fact. Volunteers help with basic factchecking, targeted research, and monitoring which claims are being made most regularly in public debate.
We only take on volunteers when we have something useful for them do. Get in touch if you’re interested in volunteering.
Current vacancies are listed on our jobs page. That said we are always interested to meet people who can help Full Fact grow. If you think you have skills that we would benefit from, get in touch with your CV.
From time to time, we recruit freelancers to help us factcheck a particular debate. This is normally when we require someone with specific expertise that we don’t have in-house. All our freelancers are subject to the same neutrality and impartiality checks as full time members of staff, and their work is reviewed by our experienced factcheckers.
Freelance opportunities are advertised on our jobs page.
We rely on your donations to stay independent and expand our work. Our donate page is here.
If you’re an expert in your field and you agree with us that information could be used better in public debate, we’d love to hear from you.
During the 2015 general election, volunteers donated over 4,000 hours of their time to help us run our election centre. If you could spare a few hours a week, get in touch.
Most importantly, check the facts for yourself. You can use our Finder tool to check facts for yourself, and let us know if you see an unsubstantiated or inaccurate claim doing the rounds - we’ll do our best to get it corrected.