Bringing together the UK government, Facebook, and others to combat misinformation crises

20 November 2020 | Nicola Aitken and Phoebe Arnold

In September we announced that Full Fact was convening a range of experts to develop a new collaborative model for tackling misinformation crises, with funding support from Facebook. 

While information producers have responded to the coronavirus pandemic with a range of individual measures, the global public deserves a consistent, clear application in how principles are applied, with transparency and knowledge-sharing at the top of the agenda.

With a coronavirus vaccine now potentially just months away, a wave of related bad information could undermine trust in medicine when it matters most. This project is an attempt to learn the lessons of previous waves of bad information, whether during elections or pandemics, to make sure we’re all ready to contain the next crisis before it unfolds. By planning before events happen, and discussing collective aims across different types of organisations, we can all move quicker to respond in proportionate, effective and well-evidenced ways.

In developing this work we have been drawing on expertise and experiences from internet companies, academics, civil society and fact checkers around the world, including:

  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (UK)
  • Privy Council Office (Canada)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University
  • First Draft (UK/US/Australia)
  • International Fact-Checking Network
  • Africa Check (South Africa/Nigeria/Kenya/Senegal)
  • Boom (India)
  • Chequeado (Argentina)
  • (Spain)

The group will aim to set out standards of accountability for tackling misinformation, as well as a set of aims on ways to respond to bad information that can work across all of the participating organisations.

Core principles will include the need to have a good supply of information, to empower users and to work collaboratively with relevant, responsible experts.

The first session, held in mid-October, asked the working group to look at a draft typology of information incidents, and indicators for judging the nature and severity of an incident. We have published that paper (pdf), in the interest of transparency, and to invite further feedback. 

If you would like to contribute, or if you have feedback on the first discussion paper, please contact us.

Download our first draft paper of the framework

Subscribe for updates, or check back here to stay informed.

Full Fact fights bad information

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