Full Fact has been nominated for an award, and it’s one we’re very excited about: the WIRED and Audi UK Social Innovation award.
Back in 2013, we won the Political Studies Association award for Political Transparency. The jury of academics and journalists said, “Full Fact have systematically followed a number of policy debates and used existing machinery to try to hold politicians, civil servants and journalists to account”.
Three years on, we’re delighted to be nominated for the WIRED Social Innovation Award. According to their website, “The award will celebrate British individuals, companies or initiatives that, in 2016, have harnessed innovation to help people live healthier, happier and more prosperous lives. Social Innovation can come in many shapes and forms – from corporations inventing and building life-changing devices, to institutions devising far-reaching policies, to bright creators that have come up with new answers to age-old issues.”
We now have six years of factchecking experience under our belts, including getting corrections across the political spectrum. We’ve corrected specific inaccurate claims, and used our evidence to make recommendations to the BBC Trust, which were adopted in their review on how the BBC reports statistics. We’ve also helped the improve the presentation of statistics from the Government Statistical Service, making them easier to understand in the first place.
We’ve also been working on some pioneering automated factchecking tools, which we’ll be showcasing at the awards ceremony on November 9th. We’re developing technology that can automatically track when and where claims are being made, identify key claims and check them against our database of factchecks or source data. We’re hoping to be able to read TV subtitles to produce real-time verdicts on the accuracy of claims, as they are said on air.
The faster we can correct inaccurate claims, the more effective we can be at stopping them from spreading. Automating the monitoring process will also allow us to massively increase the scope of our factchecking, and free up human factcheckers to do the more nuanced work of weighing up evidence and making fair judgements.
After making considerable progress over the summer, we’re not far off from being able to handover the automated factchecking tool to journalists and factcheckers around the world. With some extra funding, we can get there even faster. You can read more about the other categories and nominees here — good luck to everyone!