Climate Feedback accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter

Climate Feedback has received accreditation by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at The Poynter Institute. Climate Feedback is the first and only accredited organization pioneering a community approach to “fact-checking”: crowdsourcing the evaluation of information credibility from a network of scientists with relevant expertise.

The IFCN is “committed to promoting excellence in fact-checking”. Its new vetting process followed the announcement by Facebook that the platform will work with third-party fact checking organizations that are verified signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles to flag false news directly in users’ feeds.

The International Fact-Checking Network vetting process calls for an external panel to evaluate whether the organization is compliant with the five principles of the fact-checkers’ code, which include a commitment to nonpartisanship as well as to transparency of sources, funding and methodology.

The external assessor describes Climate Feedback as “fairly unique” and notes that having “multiple scientists fact-checking questions and providing analysis is impressive.”

Climate Feedback’s transparent process via the use of web-annotations is highlighted:

“While the “overall rating” given to each article gives the reader an indication of how factual the claims are, this impressive feature allows the reader to go back and replicate the fact-check by going through point-by-point made in the article and seeing whether it is supported or refuted. Scientists provide data, analysis and research in the annotation – providing even more links in support or refutation of different points being made.”

The external assessor also praises Climate Feedback’s community standards and strong methodology:

“It’s an impressive, thorough list of standards which includes ‘limiting authoritative comments to their area of expertise; when commenting outside their direct field of expertise, contributors must back their claims using strongly supported scientific theories and observations and cite reliable sources.’ Traditional journalism sites would do well to look at the wording on these standards and adapt them to their own standards.”

Climate Feedback’s work is focused on the science, not the politics of an issue, explaining whether and why information is or is not consistent with the science. We strive for our reviews to be representative of the spectrum of influential climate discussion in the media. Therefore we review articles and claims in a variety of media, without a priori perspective, regardless of whether they insightfully report on, exaggerate or downplay the consequences of climate change, as our assessor comments:

“What’s refreshing to see from this site is that not only they fact-check claims by news organizations at both ends of the political spectrum but they also fact-check columns or claims made under the “opinion” sections of news organizations. […] I’m reminded of the old saying ‘everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own set of facts.’”

We are honored that Climate Feedback has been recognized for its professionalism and high quality methodology. We are committed to upholding the highest standards in information credibility verification, which goes beyond checking the facts.

We will continue to explore ways to assess the credibility of information at scale and empower scientists to share their specialized expertise to better inform their fellow citizens.


Published on: 24 May 2017 | Editor: