The Three Questions

3 June 2016 | Amy Hawkins

There are times when factchecking is clear cut — for example  correcting a figure that someone has got wrong.  When David Cameron said that 453, rather than 432, fewer schools were full or overcapacity in 2014 compared to 2010, we got in touch and he corrected the record.

But increasingly, we are seeing  uses of statistics or facts that are correct, but which may not tell you the whole story. Claims can shoot past each other: debates about child poverty for example often take place with one side talking about relative child poverty, and the other side talking about absolute levels. This isn’t helpful for anyone, and this is where we find ourselves telling people: it’s just not that simple.

With any claim, as well as checking against source data, there are three questions you should ask yourself, before making your mind up about it: where does the claim come from, what is it actually measuring, and will it affect your life?

It was these three questions that were the topic of our appearance on the BBC Wales Report yesterday. Our Director Will spoke to reporters from Felicity Evans’ flagship show about which numbers matter and which don’t in the EU referendum. You can watch the show here, with Will’s segment from 22:58.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.