Fact checkers unite to form #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance to tackle misinformation

Posted on: March 25, 2020 by Claire Meadows

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is uniting more than 100 fact checkers around the world in publishing, sharing and translating facts surrounding the novel coronavirus.

Alongside being a helpful resource for journalists, the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance – run by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute in the US – is also assisting in the fight against misinformation and fake news trends circulating on social media platforms around covid-19.

Poynter’s IFCN launched the Alliance in January when the spread of the new virus was restricted to China but already causing rampant misinformation globally. There have been numerous reports in recent weeks about the extent of misleading and inaccurate information about the virus circulating on social media.

The IFCN has created a searchable database that gathers all the falsehoods that have been detected by the Alliance and journalists and members of the public can sort, filter and search for content. The database is being updated regularly to include new publications by fact-checkers.

The Society of Editors (SoE) has previously reported on the work that UK-based fact checking organisation Full Fact has been doing to highlight misinformation on social media platforms around Covid-19. As part of its ongoing Campaign for Real News, the Society has warned of the dangers of social media platforms being considered as accurate sources of news on the novel coronavirus.  As part of its campaign, the SoE is working to help combat fake news through highlighting misinformation and by supporting and promoting both the mainstream media and emerging new media that recognise high standards of editorial excellence.