Fact checking and fast news

Fact checking and fast news
by Alan MEBAN for FactCheckNI
18 February 2020

False information can cost lives. Unintentional misinformation and deliberate disinformation being shared about the current coronavirus outbreak could cause unnecessary anxiety or could cause vulnerable people to drop their guard and expose themselves to a greater risk of infection. Continue reading Fact checking and fast news

Asking the right questions for a better-informed public

Asking the right questions for a better-informed public
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
28 January 2020

Representing FactCheckNI and as part of a four-person panel, I was invited to give evidence to the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies. Fellow witnesses were Ed Humpherson (Director General for Regulation, Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR)), Will Moy (Chief Executive, Full Fact), and Jenni Sargent (Managing Director, First Draft). Continue reading Asking the right questions for a better-informed public

Are there more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers?

CLAIM: There are more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The 2017-18 Continuous Household Survey indicates there are an estimated 35,955 persons with conversational fluency of Irish, and the current Grand Secretary of the Orange Order has said that it has “around 40,000” members. However, the Order membership figure is unverifiable. Continue reading Are there more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers?

Are there only DUP members in the House of Lords?

CLAIM: There are only DUP members (who are/were members of a Northern Ireland political party) in the House of Lords.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. There are at least 11 peers currently in the House of Lords who are, or were, members of a Northern Ireland political party. Four of those 11 are registered as DUP. Continue reading Are there only DUP members in the House of Lords?

Is Northern Ireland without funded childcare provision?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland remains the only UK jurisdiction without funded childcare provision.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Northern Ireland Government funds the provision of pre-school education, which in the rest of the UK, Ireland, and wider Europe is defined as “Early Childhood Education and Care”. Residents of Northern Ireland are also eligible for some UK-wide childcare subsidy schemes. Continue reading Is Northern Ireland without funded childcare provision?

Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?

Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
6 December 2019

As part of the annual general meeting of NICVA, the umbrella body of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, there was a panel discussion on the topics of truth, trust, and how everyone engages with a bombardment of information. Entitled, “Lies and Democracy: The Fight for the Truth”, BBC Radio Ulster presenter, Seamus McKee, moderated the discussion with panellists Amanda Ferguson, John Barry, and Orna Young. Continue reading Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?