Fighting the Infodemic: The #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance
Led by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute, the #CoronaVirusFacts united more than 100 fact checkers around the world in publishing, sharing, and translating facts surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alliance was launched in January 2020 when the spread of the virus was restricted to China but was already causing rampant misinformation globally. The World Health Organization classifies this as an infodemic — and the Alliance was on the front lines in the fight against it. The project concluded in early 2023.
This shows how the category of fact checks has shifted as the pandemic progressed from January 2020 till February 2022.
Categories of Hoaxes
This graphic shows the categories of fact checks, which are helping our alliance identify successive waves of misinformation as they travel across the globe. When the new coronavirus pandemic started, many hoaxes were about the origin of the virus. Then the alliance detected falsehoods on how the disease spreads, and cures and preventions. Now we are finding hoaxes about religious groups, politicians and the impact of COVID-19 on a country’s health system.
This map shows the number of fact checks per-country from January 2020 to the present and is updated at the end of each month. The distribution of fact checks pre-country reflects the contributors of the alliance. This list is at the end of the page.
This is why it matters
During a pandemic, combating mis/disinformation is crucial to public health. Just like the virus itself, rumors and falsehoods flow over borders, causing what is now called a universal infodemic. Our international collaboration is essential in this battle. The database of falsehoods is now the best source an individual can access when questioning information about the novel coronavirus.
During the pandemic, the CoronavirusFacts database was updated daily. Members used simple tools to collaborate on this massive crowdsourcing project: a shared spreadsheet and instant messaging apps. This international collaboration allowed our members to respond faster and reach larger audiences.
Follow the Facts
Fact Check Database
The #CoronaVirusFacts database gathered all the falsehoods that have been detected by the Alliance and was updated daily to include new publications. You can sort, filter and search for content.
Researching COVID-19 misinformation? Come join us!
If you are interested in researching the COVID-19 Database, please email email@example.com to request access to the database, along with an abstract of your research.
Power in your pocket: WhatsApp chatbots
The IFCN launched a WhatsApp chatbot that allows English speakers to easily access all data available in the CoronaVirusFacts database with a few keystrokes. WhatsApp users just need to click this link or text “hi” to +1 (727) 291-2606 to get the bot’s welcome page. There are also options for other languages: Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese. They all use the same phone number.
You can also find fact-checks by the alliance on this Twitter list. Please note: fact-checks are not automatically translated.
Members of the Alliance
As of June 18, 2020, the members of the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance include:
(99 members: 15min.lt, 20 Minutes Fake off, AAP FactCheck, AFP, AfricaCheck, Agência Lupa, Agencia Ocote, Animal Político, Annie Lab, Aos Fatos, Bolivia Verifica, BOOM FactCheck, BuzzFeed Japan, Check Your Fact, CheckNews, Chequeado, Colombiacheck, Congo Check, Convoca.pe, Correctiv, Décrypteurs – Radio-Canada, Delfi Melo Detektorius (Lie Detector), Demagog, Détecteur de rumeurs, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Digiteye India, Doğruluk Payı, Dubawa, Ecuador Chequea, EFE Verifica, Efecto Cocuyo, Effecinque – SkyTg24, El Surtidor, Ellinika Hoaxes, Estadão Verifica, FactCheck Georgia, Factcheck.kz, FactCheckNI, FactCheck.org, Factcheck.Vlaanderen, FactCrescendo, Factly, Factnameh, Faktabaari/FactBar, Faktograf, Fatabyyano, France 24 Observers, franceinfo, Full Fact, GhanaFact, India Today, INFACT, Istinomer, JTBC news, Källkritikbyrån, La Nación, La Voz de Guanacaste, La Silla Vacía, LeadStories, Les Décodeurs, Maldita.es, MediaWise, Misbar, Mygopen, Myth Detector, Newschecker, Newsmeter.in, NewsMobile, Newtral.es, Nieuwscheckers, Observador, OjoPúblico, Open, Pagella Politica, Periodismo de Barrio, PesaCheck, Poligrafo, PolitiFact, Rappler, Raskrinkavanje, Re:Check, Salud con lupa, Science Feedback, Spondeo Media, StopFake.org, Sure And Share Center MCOT, Taiwan FactCheck Center, TEMPO, Teyit, The Quint, TheJournal.ie, TjekDet.dk, VERA Files, Verificado, Verificador de La República, Vishvas News, Vistinomer, VoxCheck and Washington Post Fact-Checker)
Is it still possible to join the CoronaVirusFacts ?
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to join the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance.
All the organizations that have joined the alliance are established fact checkers — either verified signatories of the IFCN’s Code of Principles or organizations that have been supported by one of the IFCN verified signatories. Single-person operations were not accepted.