A gunge tank to jazz things up a bit

11 December 2014 | Full Fact Team

Every now and then people come up with great ideas for factchecking. From apps to buzzers to slime, here are some of our favourites:

KlaxonTicker tapeApp FB




While we wait for a politician to announce they're willing to risk being dunked live on TV,  we've been laying the groundwork to make all these ideas possible.

Apps and tools like this have something in common with live-factchecking, which we do quite a bit of: they rely on a database of checked claims and corresponding verdicts, preferably no more than 120 characters long.

Last month we put out a call for volunteers to help us create this database, plugging in all the claims we've ever checked in the past two years, and all the claims politicians have made in speeches and debates from January 2014 to now.

In just four weeks we’ve had 50 applications, 15 new people come to our office and 200 hours of work. It was a daunting task, but on Wednesday we finished it!

our vols

Ashley, Steven and Billy — all volunteers — just after finishing off the last entry in the factcheck database.

The next job is to turn this into reusable content: tweets and TV text, 100-word blog posts, and graphics. This will be a vastly superior basis for all our future factchecking across lots of different media — particularly in the run up to the election when thorough preparation will be vital. Please get in touch if:

  • You’d like to donate to our volunteer operation: we need laptops, chairs, desks and a travel expenses fund. Currently we’re turning away keen volunteers because we have nowhere for them to sit, and no spare computers for them to work on.
  • You’ve got experience building databases and would like to join in a sprint next year when we transform our raw data into something more searchable and linked up with SayIt.
  • You want to tell us how you’d use such a database so that when we design it, it’s as useful as it can be for a range of people.

A huge thank you to Lena Anayi, Ashley Archibald, Tom Straker, William Walker-Lane, Felix Morris-Duffin, Steven Rae, Joe Hurst, Will Howard, Tahir Basra, Trusha Chauhan, Richard Banks and Annas Elfarsi for making the factcheck database happen.

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