A new fact-checking framework
We have created a framework for fighting misinformation, based on best practices from several disciplines, fact-checking and media and information literacy.
This new framework follows the strategy of the World Health Organization and will serve primarily as a practical tool for the general public, rather than for high-level stakeholders - because one of the objectives of COVID-19 Facts is to equip everyone against misinformation. And that's not all: true to our principles, the new framework also serves as a guide for our fact-checking methodology.
When information lands in your inbox or on your feed, or if you watch it on television, you can just go through the FACTS Framework for Fighting Misinformation and Disinformation.
|Flag:||Filter the information you receive and flag sources that don’t seem credible. And flag information which may appeal to your beliefs, elicit an emotional reaction or seems too good to be true. Don’t share information or news if you don’t have time to check it out properly.|
|Analyze:||It’s important to first check whether a source is credible and reliable or not. Does this source have a history of sharing inaccurate information? Are they knowledgeable enough about a topic to speak about facts regarding that topic? Then, you can analyze whether the information they shared is accurate and based in science and on facts. For example, you can do a reverse image search in a browser to see if the association between an image and a statement is taken out of context. You can go to reliable sources of information like the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and your government’s official website to get accurate information on COVID-19.|
|Correct:||Compare the information you received and read with the information from reliable sources. Are there discrepancies? If three reliable and official sources state something, and a social media post from an unknown person states something else, there’s a high likelihood the information from the unknown person on social media is inaccurate and misleading. If the reliable sources offer facts that don’t align with your beliefs, check yourself before you dismiss those facts: am I dismissing the facts because I don’t agree with them/they don’t fit with my view of the world? What is the responsible thing to do in this space, dismiss facts and nurture my world view, or examine my world view and shift it based on science and facts?|
|Transform:||Transforming the accurate information into something that is easily understood is equally important. First, ask yourself who you want to share the corrected information with. Are they likely to want a lot of explanations, or do you need to make things very simple? Do they respond to analogies or should your communication be straight-forward? Are you communicating to a large group of diverse people, on a social media account, for example? Or are you speaking with kids? Adapt your communication to the context.|
|Share:||Ask yourself why you want to share the information. Only share if you’ve gone through the previous steps (Flag, Analyse, Correct, Transform) and you’re sure the information you’re about to share is solid and based on facts. When you share accurate and correct information, be mindful of your tone. And it’s not a good idea to share an inaccurate or misleading post on your social media account, even if you write a comment denouncing it. You can refer to it but don’t share the original post.|