Factually: Platforms scramble to contend with QAnon. Are they too late?
For people who thought QAnon existed mostly on the fringe of society, it might have come as a surprise this week when one of the conspiracy theory’s adherents essentially locked down a seat in Congress. Marjorie Taylor Greene, now the GOP’s nominee for the 14th congressional district in Georgia, is all but assured to win the seat […]
Factually: Perceiving the curve
Presentation matters when it comes to representing the scope of coronavirus cases. A study published by the London School of Economics shows one type of graphic representation could be creating confusion. A research team made up of academics from the LSE and Yale University found that logarithmic graphs used to show the curve of COVID-19 infections can confuse […]
Factually: Seven angles on a conspiracy theory
How do you cover a conspiracy theory? Journalists who write about misinformation know that the trick is to debunk the falsehoods without amplifying them or generating any suggestion of legitimacy. Context is critical, as is an exploration of potential harms for believers. The pseudoscience-ridden, conspiracy-driven “Plandemic” video, which contains a number of baseless theories about […]
Factually: Here are some harmful COVID-19 hoaxes
Desperate for protection against COVID-19, some people are acting on dangerous misinformation they’ve found online. Fact-checkers need help sharing the articles that debunk the most life-threatening hoaxes. And all authorities should get involved too. In Tunisia and other Arabic-speaking countries, and in North Macedonia and Greece, the dangerous idea of gargling with Betadine — a topical antiseptic […]
Factually: Who should fix the disinformation problem?
Who should be responsible for curbing the spread of disinformation? We might start by looking at who is responsible for spreading it. Those of us who follow this topic closely know there are a number of answers to that question: nefarious foreign actors, irresponsible platforms, zealous partisans, politicians who lie with impunity, people who stand […]
Factually: Our 2020 Forecast
Happy New Year! With the start of 2020, we’ve been thinking about what the year might bring to the misinformation and fact-checking world. Of course, hoaxers, manipulators and propagandists will come up with new techniques. And we also expect a new intensity of misinformation, especially around the U.S. election. There will still not be enough […]
Factually: Misinformation is inciting violence around the world. And the platforms don’t know how to stop it.
More misinformation-related attacks This week, France became the latest country to be stricken with misinformation-related violence. On Monday, French police arrested 20 people accused of attacking Roma people in the suburbs of Paris. In one attack, about 50 people armed with sticks and knives attacked Roma living in a slum and set fire to their cars. […]
Factually: The Census could be next target for fakery
Can tech companies help fight U.S. Census misinformation? The U.S. election isn’t the only 2020 event threatened to be disrupted by misinformation. Reuters reported Wednesday that the U.S. Census Bureau has asked Google, Facebook and Twitter to “help it fend off fake news campaigns it fears could disrupt the upcoming 2020 count,” citing Census officials and others […]
Factually: A new fact-checking project in Europe
Fact-checkers gear up for elections in Europe A big development in fact-checking this week came in Europe, where 19 news organizations are collaborating on a project called FactCheckEU. They’ll fact-check politicians’ rhetoric and misinformation ahead of the May parliamentary elections. (Full disclosure: The platform is being helped with an innovation grant from the IFCN, and the participants […]
Factually: Fact-checking health claims gets new life
Two new health fact-checkers When HealthNewsReview.org announced it was shutting down in December, it went mostly unnoticed. Almost nobody tweeted about the closure of the outlet, which had been debunking bogus health claims for 13 years. An email to the IFCN listserv highlighting HealthNewsReview’s demise got no responses. And the move went uncovered by most major media […]