Coronavirus: our pledge to you, our readers

1 April 2020 | The Full Fact team

You’ve probably seen a surge in false information about the new coronavirus over the past few weeks.

Dangerous tips have included holding your breath to test for the virus, and gargling to prevent infection. This is not official guidance, and following these tips as a method of prevention or cure could put lives at serious risk.

Here's the work we’re doing to tackle it, and how you can help.

Our pledge to you

We can’t predict the future, but we can promise to fight as hard as we can to protect people from being misled by bad information. 

It’s vital that these claims are challenged before they go viral. Evidence tells us that the more a claim is repeated and then shared, the more likely it is to be believed.

That’s why over the coming months, we’ll be:

  • Fact checking harmful information and pushing sources of false claims to correct the record
  • Tackling bad information globally in a joint project with fact checkers around the world
  • Protecting the most vulnerable, partnering with food delivery companies and community groups to deliver educational leaflets
  • Holding our government accountable by scrutinising what they say and advising their work to tackle misinformation

How you can protect yourself

We’re all vulnerable to bad information, especially now, when we’re worried about our own and our loved ones’ health.

It’s important to remember at this time that if a piece of information has little to no evidence to back it up, it’s far less likely to be true.

We have some resources to help you check for yourself: 

  • Our website: you can find the latest fact checks and visit our coronavirus hub page
  • Facebook: if you see something which isn’t true on Facebook - you can report it as false and it will go into a queue for us to fact check. We’ll scrutinise the posts which have been shared the most and have the most potential to cause harm.  
  • Your inbox every Friday: we’ll send our fact checks from the week straight to your inbox. You can sign up here.
  • Haven’t found what you’re looking for? You can Ask Full Fact

This work is only made possible with the support of our donors. 

No one was prepared for a crisis at this scale, and with so many of us confused by contradictory information about the new coronavirus, their support is more needed than ever.

In joining them today, you could make the difference between someone taking the right precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones, or not.

If you agree that good information saves lives, support independent fact checking today.

I’ll become a supporter

Full Fact fights bad information

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