Four thousand steps closer to honesty

30 November 2021 | Team at Full Fact

Over four thousand people across the UK donated to Full Fact in 2021 

Through a year when bad information has put our democracy, and people’s health at risk, our supporters have helped keep up scrutiny on public debate and call out the mistakes that many others have been willing to overlook.

Donations from the public helped make sure hundreds of false claims were fact checked, resulting in corrections in the BBC, the Economist, the Sun, the Guardian, Hansard and many other places, so that people had a better choice than bad information in 2021.

You also gave your time and commitment

  • Six thousand people took our claim matching challenge, helping build our AI technology that will one day help journalists and fact checkers spot misinformation from all over the world
  • Thousands more flagged false images and videos about Covid-19 and vaccines via our WhatsApp helpline
  • Subscribers even joined a nationwide search to help track down a misleading ad campaign in local newspapers

With your help, we’ve seen real and lasting change to the fight for good information 

Every supporter helps us respond to false claims faster, so that good information can reach further. Unfortunately this year, misreading of data from the government’s Yellow Card Reporting scheme led people to jump to false conclusions about the danger of Covid-19 vaccines
across social media and even in Parliament.

Thanks to the body of fact checks and corrections we've built up about Covid-19 vaccines, now a
 warning is included more prominently in the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s weekly analysis to remind people that reported side effects after a Covid-19 vaccine are not necessarily because of the vaccine. 

We also began a new partnership with the charity Pregnant Then Screwed to answer questions about Covid-19 during pregnancy. Over eight hundred people have sent in their questions, images, and posts through to our WhatsApp hotline, including when it is safe to have the vaccine and the potential long-term effects of the vaccine on the baby.

Feedback has indicated that fact checked information can have a positive impact on a pregnant woman’s wellbeing, especially when it is delivered with an organisation they know and trust:

“Thank you so much. You guys are amazing! Appreciate everything you are doing to help pregnant women so so much.” 

WhatsApp Hotline User , 2021

We face important challenges in 2022

There is still the battle to ensure that the government's Online Safety Bill, expected before Parliament early next year, adequately tackles the spread of harmful online information on internet platforms. A study we published earlier this year found that 3 in 4 of the UK public is as concerned by the spread of misinformation as it is by issues such as immigration and Brexit, while 1 in 3 say they don’t know how to distinguish what’s true from what’s false online. 

Over the last decade, Full Fact has grown into a community of thousands of supporters who are ready to build back faith in democracy and give people across the UK access to trustworthy information.

We're confident that together, we'll secure the honest and accountable debate we all deserve. 

Once again–thank you to all who supported Full Fact in 2021. Subscribe to our free email newsletter to find out more about how you can make a difference.

Full Fact fights bad information

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