Digital Fact Checking Platforms
What situations is this tool used in?
Fact checking is a process of scrutinising assertions of fact, either in written texts or verbal statements. The rise in open data and advances in digital technology increasingly enable members of the public to access fact checking tools and information, often through specialist organisations focused on specific countries or regions.
Who is this tool aimed at?
Fact checking websites tend to focus on enabling members of the public to check facts for themselves, or to read and respond to existing analysis. From a wider perspective, the drive behind many of these organisations is to encourage and contribute to a broader societal debate, and to hold public figures, political groups and the media to account.
How Is the Tool Used?
Fact Checking involves the provision of analysis, advice, information, source links and online tools all with the ultimate goal of answering one question: is what we are reading or hearing from public figures and the press actually true?
The basic model for a fact checking website is a blog-type format, with analysis of specific claims sorted by topic. Visitors to the site are encouraged to read the analysis and delve deeper into the background materials themselves. Some sites encourage collaborative fact checking or provide advice on how individuals can go about checking a fact.
The groups behind fact checking websites tend to be independent non-profit organisations. They will often take on commissioned work, as well as taking suggestions or requests for specific fact checks from members of the public.
Who has used the tool?
FactCheck NI is Northern Ireland's first independent fact-checking platform, funded through the Building Change Trust's Civic Activism programme - see the case study section (NI Foundation) and FactCheck NI's own website www.factcheckni.org
Factcheck EU is a crowd-based fact checking site, positioned as a collaborative and bottom-up approach to the European debate. Individuals can contribute to the site alongside the team of analysts, in one of four ways:
- Fact check a statement themselves
- Translate a statement
- Give a vote to a statement (from “true” to “insane whopper”)
- Upload a statement for fact checking
Fact checks on the website show an analysis of the statement alongside the average vote from readers. There is also a map of Europe showing the spread of all the fact checks on the website, using colour coding to indicate the level of confidence in each analysed statement.
FactcheckEU home page: https://factcheckeu.org
Where to find out more
Various other fact checking websites: