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September 20th, 2020

Stem the flow of misinformation online

topic:Democracy
type:Donation, NGO
by:Yair Oded

The pandemic of misinformation circulating around the internet is posing a threat to our democracies and increasingly contributes to violation of human rights.

As we battle the interlocking health, environmental, financial crises facing humanity, the spread of false and misleading information online hinders our ability to organise effectively, sows chaos and fragmentation, and plays into the hands of authoritarians exploiting the swelling plight in order to erode democratic institutions and exert unfettered control.

Myths surrounding coronavirus and the ways to tackle it, baseless dismissals of the existence and severity of climate change, misinformation concerning elections, and misrepresentation of civil actions and activist agendas are mere examples of false information invading our screens and threatening the stability and safety of our civilisation.  

Science Feedback is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation employing a wide network of scientists from across the world whose aim is to staunch the flow of misinformation online.

The organisation focuses on two major areas: climate and health. Under each section, the organisation provides reviews of articles, studies, videos, and movies circulating online, in which scientists assess the accuracy of the claims made in them. 

The scientists do not simply label each article as either false or true, but provide a detailed analysis of the assertion, scientific methods (if those exist), or reasoning employed in them.

Their website also provides reviews on articles that do convey accurate information, helping readers gain trustworthy, reliable knowledge concerning pressing issues such as the climate crisis, environmental degradation, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As stated by Science Feedback, “Accurate information is the foundation of a functioning democracy.”

Please visit their website to access their reviews and resources. You may also consider making a donation to support their efforts and sharing some of their reviews on your social media accounts in order to help debunk circulating misinformation and foster a healthier information ecology.

If you are a scientist with a PhD in a relevant discipline, you may click here to apply to become a fact checker with Science Feedback. 

Image: Timmy_L

sciencefeedback.co