Public data is the raw material with which fact-checkers work every day. Without it, the credibility of rating information as false — without being able to show the reasoning behind the decision — is weakened, no matter how obviously false the content seems. But there is a way to navigate this, even if data is not accessible.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when conspiracy theories and misinformation related to vaccines, thermometers, and miraculous prevention methods are gaining steam on social media, the fact-checking community has found a simple – and honest – way to say something is probably not 100% true.
Fact-checkers are posting articles with intermediary rating labels such as “unsupported” and “no evidence” to alert audiences to highly dubious content.
In the list of more than 7,800 fact-checks published by the CoronaVirusFacts alliance (http://poy.nu/alliancedatabase), the collaborative project that since January brings together 99 fact-checking organizations from around the world, there are at least 107 articles in which fact-checkers opted to say there was “no evidence” regarding the truthfulness of a certain piece of information rather than flagging it as completely “false”. One-third of these checks were produced in the last two months.
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Franklin radar picked up via Twitter
|Unsupported = "fact-checkers opted to say there was 'no evidence'"|