Climate Feedback has received accreditation by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at The Poynter Institute for the second year. 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 vetting process started following the announcement by Facebook that the platform would work with third-party fact checking organizations that are verified signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles to verify the veracity of news that users have flagged as possibly false.
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 “fair and rigorous” and “an excellent fact-checking site”. Climate Feedback’s transparent process in which scientists annotate specific sentences from articles is highlighted:
“The annotations provided in the fact-checks give clear explanations to readers about the veracity of the stories and claims they check.”
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:
“The site focuses on a ‘side’ with respect to choosing the side of the preponderance of evidence in science, but Climate Feedback does not endorse political parties, an ideological perspective or the like. They select a wide variety of important sources to fact-check. It is the case that some sources and outlets perform better (i.e. New York Times) than others (i.e. Wall Street Journal), but that is a consequence related to the veracity of the things those sources and outlets claim, not a discernible political bias.”
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, and will work to implement the recommendations of the reviewer.
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.