“Fact checkers need to move from ‘publish and pray’ to ‘publish and act.'”“The idea that fact checking can work by correcting the public’s inaccurate beliefs on a mass scale alone doesn’t stack up,” write representatives from Full Fact (U.K.), Africa Check (Africa), and Chequeado (Argentina), in a manifesto of sorts published Thursday to all three sites.
“First-generation fact-checking” — the approach of simply publishing fact-checks, which sites like FactCheck.org do — is a worthy effort, the authors write, but it isn’t enough if you actually want to change people’s minds. “Nobody should be surprised when, despite fact checkers publishing lots of fact checks, people still believe inaccurate things and politicians still spin and distort. Fact checking can work but not if this is all we do.” Full Fact, Africa Check, and Chequeado argue instead for their second-generation approach that includes not just publishing but also pressure and working for system change: