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Data 2020: Misinformation, disinformation and fact checking

Misinformation, disinformation and fact checking is one of the areas we've identified in our Data 2020 landscape review to help organisations understand hot topics in the world of data in 2020 – from digital competition to data rights

Fake news and deepfakes are the tip of the iceberg in how technology enables and aggravates misinformation at speed and scale. As regulators struggle to keep up, misinformation poses a clear and present risk to democracy and trust in politics.

In a report released in 2019, the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee said Facebook had put democracy at risk by allowing voters to be targeted with disinformation, and called for Facebook to be regulated. Leading academic in the field of internet law, Lilian Edwards, also said last year that deepfakes are ‘increasingly likely to be used to discredit politicians and business leaders.’ The boss of Sky, Jeremy Darroch, has also called for more ‘urgency’ in regulation.

The UK’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation points out that deepfakes still require specialist skills and professional software, but are likely to become more sophisticated over time. Meanwhile, fact checkers face staggering challenges in fighting disinformation spreading at increasing speed and scale on social platforms.

At the ODI, we think that Facebook and other ad platforms cannot fix all the problems they create alone. They need to collaborate with civil society, regulators and researchers to design solutions together.

Hot topics

  • Agile and cross-border regulation of misinformation
  • Open data to support more effective fact checking
  • Improving media literacy and critical thinking
  • Managing misinformation at scale through automation
  • Access to data to support research into misinformation

Useful links and resources

This is not an exhaustive list of resources. If you provide tools or resources in this topic, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

Organisations working in this area

International fact checkers:

  • Africa Check
  • Chequeado
  • Full Fact


  • Data & Society Research Institute
  • EPFL Media Observatory
  • LSE Arena
  • Oxford Internet Institute

Media and Broadcasters:

  • AFP Factcheck
  • BBC Monitoring
  • Washington Post

This is not an exhaustive list of all organisations working in this area. If your organisation is working on this topic and you'd like to be included in this list, please let us know via [email protected]

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