Election Blog: Week One

29 May 2024 | Chris Morris

It’s fair to say that the last few days have been a bit of a whirl. Like most people who follow politics, we’d got to the stage where it felt safe to assume that the general election would be in the autumn. But always expect the unexpected! 4 July here we come! 

We’re ready for a long election campaign, extending our editorial coverage so we can help ensure that accurate information gets to voters when they need it most. We’ll increase the volume of our text and video output to try to reach as many people as possible. 

This will be the first UK election in the age of generative AI, when anyone can create, produce and disseminate their own version of reality at the click of a button. It’s a big challenge, and we have to give people confidence that there is still reliable information that they can trust.

That means we need to be on the lookout for audio and video deepfakes, and we’ve already called on all political parties to maintain the highest standards of honesty and transparency if they use AI to create campaign material. 

But we also need to ensure that we don’t spend so much time looking for the fake stuff, that we forget to hold politicians to account for what they actually say. There’s no danger that we’re going to stop doing that at Full Fact, and we intend to fact check this election in more detail than ever before. 

Honesty in public debate matters

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In the last few days, for example, we’ve looked at:

We’re also publishing a series of background pieces, like this one on the size of the UK armed forces, and our live blog is being updated every day with the latest fact checks as the campaign unfolds. 

I want to be clear about one thing. We’re not doing this to criticise politicians for the sake of it. Those who run for public office should be applauded. But at a time when trust in politics and politicians is at record lows in the modern era, it is more important than ever that those who seek our votes lead by example. That’s the only way they can start to rebuild the trust that has been lost. 

So, we’re going to be busy, and we really need your support.

Help us fact check the election at a scale never seen before.

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We want to hear from you about what you think we’re doing right, and where you think we could have done better. We’re also going to be taking advantage of the huge opportunities that the AI revolution has created, using our own AI tools to help monitor and fact check more information than ever before. 

One thing is certain: there’s no more important time for us to be doing what we do than when the country is choosing the people who will lead us for the next five years.  

Let’s enjoy the campaign, and do what we can to ensure an honest and accurate public debate. The dark arts are hardly new to politics, and we will call them out when we see them. Our main aim is to try to give people the information they need, when they need it, so they can make informed choices on the issues they care most about.    

Full Fact fights bad information

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