We’re Full Fact...
The UK’s independent, non-partisan, factchecking charity and we want to factcheck the 2015 General Election.
To do this we need £25,000 to kit out our election hub and make sure we have the manpower to let no claim go unchallenged.
We want to factcheck from 6am to midnight, every day, for six weeks of the campaign.
What will you actually use the money for?
Since November 2014 we've been amassing a small army of volunteers and building links with some of the country's top research organisations to help us get ready for the election. But now we can't actually fit everyone in our office, so 3Space have given us this enormous place on Oxford Street to use during the election period. At the moment it's empty.
We need to kit out this room, pay volunteers’ expenses and get our experts on the airwaves as much as we can during the election.
There are two main costs for us to factcheck the election:
- Start-up costsThis includes setting up the hub and kitting it out with reliable computers, quick internet lines and monitoring tools.
- Day-to-Day costsThis includes supporting volunteers and transporting our experts to and from SKY, BBC and ITV so they can tell us the real story! Factchecking for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6 weeks adds up! Take newspapers for example: each day we need £30 worth of newspapers to stay on top of the claims being made. Over 6 weeks that adds up to £1260.
What have you done already?
- We pioneered live-factchecking on BBC Question Time, Sky News, the European Parliament debates, the Scottish referendum debates and the party conference leaders' speeches.
- We were crucial to getting the Daily Mail and Sun to set up corrections columns. (Yes, they really have them!)
- We not only factcheck - we also do something about incorrect claims. We've secured corrections from Ministers, government departments, MPs, the BBC, pressure groups and national newspapers.
Factchecking the election is the next logical step. This is what we've been building up to!
Why do you factcheck?
76% people think it’s extremely important that MPs tell the truth but only 26% people trust them to do so. 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?
Full Fact makes it possible to make up your own mind, based on information you can trace. We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been told “you’re the only ones asking” by a press office — 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.
If that is something you want during the election we need you to...
What do the rewards mean?
Friends Wall: A page on our website with your name on it. It will pay tribute to everyone who makes factchecking the election possible. We'll also write your name, or pin up your picture (send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org) on our actual wall in the election hub! If you prefer, we can keep your name confidential too - just let us know.
Post cards: "Support grows for the war on error". Get a pack of post cards and join the fight.
Stressball: Get to grips with the election with our Full Fact stressball. You’ll need it.
Mug: Put your feet up and relax. Enjoy a cuppa in your very own Full Fact mug.
Tweet: We have over 20 thousand followers on Twitter and we want to tell everyone about your generosity.
Election Party: Join our team and raise a glass as the results roll in and celebrate the most informed election yet!
Adopt-a-fact: You can pick a fact from our database, and we will update you if we do any more work in this area. We'll use our monitoring system to keep you updated on where it's popping up and what we're doing about it.
Post-Game Analysis: A personalised report, and a chance to join our team for a session looking back at how we did, what we learned and what we'll do for the next referendum or election.
Who will do the factchecking?
Full Fact Staff
First of all there's our own team, including five researchers who specialise in health & social care, education, immigration & crime, the economy, and the law.
The Office for National Statistics and Ipsos Mori are sending some of their statisticians and researchers to volunteer in the hub, and we're working with the Royal Statistical Society and others to recruit more individual experts. These people have good knowledge of the topics that will come up, and the sources of information we'll use to check them - so we'll be able to factcheck more claims, faster.
We've been working for two years now to create links with some of the best research organisations in the country. They have all agreed to work with us during the election - imagine an election where the experts are actually heard for once!
Examples of our Factchecks…
How do you make sure you aren't biased?
We have a cross party board of Trustees with the three big political parties represented. They have extensive experience in politics and journalism. As a charity, it's the law that we aren't allowed to take political sides.
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 nobody provides more than 15% of our income.
All staff must complete a declaration of personal interests before they start work here. Our staff aren't allowed to express opinions about political parties or issues. Volunteers will be asked to provide similar declarations.
How are you funded?
Full Fact is a charity, independent of the government and political parties. We rely on individual donations, and grants from charitable trusts, with a small amount of income coming from carefully-chosen commissioned work that doesn't present a conflict of interest. We don't accept funding from the government and when we take paid research we try to make sure the researcher doesn't know who the client is.
We are grateful for funding from: the Nuffield Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Peter Samuel Charitable Trust, JRSST-CT, and the City of London Corporation. We are also grateful to our Chairman, Michael Samuel, for his past and continuing financial support, and most of all to everybody who donates and helps make sure we can stay in business and stay independent.