We’re Full Fact...
The UK’s independent, non-partisan, factchecking charity and with your help we're going to factcheck the General Election 2017.
We're about to be bombarded with people telling you what to believe, in every conceivable medium: emails, leaflets, memes, gifs, videos, party political broadcasts, buses.
Here’s what we’re offering: for as many claims as possible, Full Fact will unravel the spin, and present you with the best available evidence so you can make up your own mind.
We don’t care how you vote. Our agenda is helping everyone have equal access to the facts.
When Theresa May says “poverty is down!” and Jeremy Corbyn says “poverty is up!” it’s our job to tell you that there are two measures of poverty. One’s going up, one’s going down - and here’s how the two measures are different.
Too often the world is painted in black and white, when it’s actually a lot more complex. Our job is about adding back the shades of grey and letting you be the person to judge the claim, and evidence, for yourself.
What will you be doing for #GE2017?
Full Fact's specialist topic areas are: immigration, economy, welfare, health, education, Brexit, law and crime. We monitor the media, politicians, and pressure groups and factcheck the claims they make. Everything is linked back to primary sources, so you can check it for yourself. For elections and referendums we do all this - but bigger.
We want to:
- Grow our team of 11 to around ~30 - fast
- Produce factchecks, explainers, graphics and videos to give you the facts on the issues you care about
- Monitor more sources, more comprehensively
- Get in expert volunteers to help us respond to new claims faster
- Work with journalists to get the facts in front of people across the country
- Create briefings for journalists on key issues
- Go on national TV and radio to set the record straight and answer people's factual questions
- Ask for corrections from newspapers and broadcasters when they get things wrong
- Live factcheck any TV debates or interviews that take place (ITV have announced a TV debate already)
- Build automated factchecking tools to help us do more, in a shorter amount of time. They will help us see the spread of misinformation and respond in seconds instead of minutes when we live factcheck
- Reach more people than ever with unbiased information so that every vote is an informed vote
To do this at a scale that makes a real impact, we need your help. Pledge today!
We’d prefer you not to. Anything we put out should have a link to a source so you can trace the evidence back, and make your own mind up about it.
We’re not trying to provide a verdict that everyone should adopt, we’re trying to make sure no one has to settle for either blindly trusting or distrusting what politicians say.
General Election 2015
In 2015, with Crowdfunders' help, we ran our Election Centre for 6 weeks, from 6am to midnight. We got 120 volunteers donating a total of 4,192 hours. Collectively we watched, listened, and raised our eyebrows at almost every factual thing that had come out in those 6 weeks. This remarkable monitoring operation had over 5,000 reports.
We live factchecked every debate and challenged the parties to publish the evidence for their claims. We published factchecks on BuzzFeed and the Guardian liveblog. The Election Centre was even featured on Andrew Marr as the segment before an interview with David Cameron. We supplied research to journalists from Jeremy Vine, the Today programme (in the middle of the night), The Sun, the Guardian, Buzzfeed and many others. We corrected an error on Newsnight in the same show. The error was made at the start, we got in touch, and they put out a correction at the end of the show (this is our favourite correction to date!)
You can read more here.
We took everything we learned from the general election and improved upon it. We comprehensively factchecked both sides of the referendum: from the leaflets the campaigns put through your letterbox and the impact of Brexit on small businesses to the infamous EU membership fee and what might happen to British bees.
We published 185 factchecks and briefings, and created 25 videos. We did interviews on Good Morning Britain, Sky News, Victoria Derbyshire, LBC and the BBC. Our work was featured by the FT, the Observer, Mumsnet, 38 Degrees, the Times, The Sun, the Teelgraph, the Sunday Times, the Irish Times, the Liverpool Echo, the Metro, the Evening Standard, and many more.
We also worked with Wikimedia to host an edit-a-thon for the most-read pages on the EU and Brexit to make sure they were correct and up to date!
You can read more here.
Featured in Google Search and News
Google News and Search now use feature factchecks from Full Fact. They do this by looking for schema.org markup. A schema is a way of structuring data on a web page so that it is more machine friendly. The one that was built for factchecking is called ClaimReview. Full Fact was invited to help pioneer this work globally and was the first UK organisation to be involved.
You can read more here.
Facebook News Literacy
This month we launched our toolkit for factchecking and spotting fake news. This is aimed at a public audience or school teachers that want to learn the basics of factchecking and spotting false news. To help this go further, we partnered with Facebook to promote a set of 10 top tips for spotting false news—mostly common sense advice like always checking the source of a claim, checking if stories are confirmed by more than one report and seeing where images were first used.
Full Fact was founded in 2010. It’s our job, with our partners and supporters, to anchor public debate to reality.
Our team is made up of eleven full-time staff. This includes specialised factcheckers with different areas of expertise. We work across the economy, education, health, immigration, crime, Europe and law. We have a cross party board of Trustees with the three big UK-wide political parties represented. They have extensive experience in politics and journalism.
We have a well-established model of change –
- In the short term, we give people reliable information to make up their own minds on big issues.
- Then, unlike other factchecking organisations, we seek to get inaccurate claims corrected at source.
- In the medium term, we use the evidence from our factchecking to diagnose systemic problems and get systemic changes.
- In the long run, we are in a fight about the culture of public life.
We go one step further than most factchecking organisations by getting corrections, and building a body of evidence to take to regulators and policy makers to try to improve the ecosystem—for example prompting government departments to set up internal factchecking services, pioneering live-factchecking in the UK so that it is now a staple of broadcast election coverage, and prompting newspapers to set up corrections columns.
We are the go-to factchecking partner for national media organisations. In 2015, we live-factchecked debates for BBC Question Time, the Victoria Derbyshire show, The Guardian, LBC radio, Sky News, ITV, and CNN. In 2016 we live-factchecked the EU referendum debates for ITV News, Bite the Ballot, and Intelligence Squared, and we did a live Q&A with Sky News. We have also worked with or appeared in every national newspaper.
This is our most ambitious project to date
We've factchecked the Leveson inquiry, two general elections and three referendums. We think this might make us the most experienced factcheckers in the world... but we don't have a source for that.
We've already tested the waters with our general election 2015 and EU referendum campaigns - now we're ready to go big. Will you help us?
Our Factchecking Principles
When we check a claim...
- we do it independently and impartially. We don't take sides or allow anyone influence our monitoring or conclusions.
- we are transparent. We always link to primary sources, so nobody has to take our word for what we say, and encourage others who are making factual claims to do this too.
- we check the claim, not the reputation of the person making it - so we say the claim is wrong, not the person, and we don't call people liars (we can't factcheck their intentions!).
- we publish our findings whether we find that a claim is right or wrong.
- we wedistinguish factual claims (which we check) from matters of opinion (which are none of our business).
- we present our findings clearly, to serve the widest possible audience, without dumbing it down.
Why do you factcheck?
Only 21% of people trust MPs to tell the truth. So even when they are telling the truth, many of us switch off.
Our votes matter more than that. We need to know what to trust and what not to trust — and who’s got time to check everything themselves?
We make it possible to make up your own mind, based on information you can trace. We’ve lost count of how many times a press office has told us “no one else has asked us about that” — but somebody has to be asking.
And then we go further, getting inaccurate claims corrected and confusing research clarified. When claims get repeated a lot they can do real damage, and that’s something we can stop.
How are you different?
We're different because we don’t care how you vote.
Our work is entirely non-partisan. Our agenda is helping everyone have equal access to the facts. As a charity, it's the law that we aren't allowed to take political sides.
Our articles don’t dumb down or reduce everything to meaningless soundbites. We look at every side of the argument and present the facts so that you can make up your own mind. We won't ask you to take our word for it: all our factchecks have links to sources so you can judge the issue for yourself.
“…a beacon of accuracy and meticulousness in a world where half-truths and unsubstantiated assertions are all too common.” Chris Berthoud, Head of Digital Impact, BBC News
“The team at Full Fact proved an essential part of our online offering for one of the defining political events of the year. …Our presenter was so impressed that he commented live on air: ‘I wish I always had you sitting next to me!’” Tom Cheal Political Editor, LBC Radio
“Without the confidence provided by Full Fact’s analysis ITV News would not have been able to broadcast our investigation.” Ed Campbell, Senior News Editor, ITV News
“Sky News used Full Fact during our coverage of the Scottish Independence Referendum and 2014 Party Conferences. Fact-checking—especially live fact-checking—is notoriously difficult, but by working with Full Fact we were able to scrutinise the politicians’ claims and counter-claims properly.” Jonathan Levy, Head of Newsgathering, Sky News
“…the value of the work carried out by Full Fact is extremely important and I am pleased to recognise that Full Fact can claim to be one of the organisations that does seek to ‘guard the guardians’.” Lord Justice Leveson, Report into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press (2012)
“Full Fact have systematically followed a number of policy debates and used existing machinery to try to hold politicians, civil servants and journalists to account…” Political Studies Association 2013 awards jury, awarding Full Fact the Transparency Award
How do you make sure you aren't biased?
We have a cross party board of Trustees with the three big UK-wide political parties represented. They have extensive experience in politics and journalism. As a charity, it's the law that we aren't allowed to support any political party.
We make sure we monitor fairly. One of the big challenges of the election is simply making sure we've got a good overview of what all sides are saying to avoid seeing more from one side than from others.
We have rules about the kinds of things we can write, and how we write them; we're open about our funding; and one day, with your help, we'd like to make sure that no single source accounts for more than 15% of our income.
Our staff aren't allowed to express opinions about political parties, policies, or how they have or plan to vote.All staff must complete a declaration of personal interests before they start work here. Volunteers are asked to provide similar declarations.
How are you funded?
Full Fact is a registered charity. We're funded by people like you, by charitable trusts, and by other funders. You can find full details of our funding here.