Disinformation in a pandemic: sharing fact checkers’ experiences

Disinformation in a pandemic: sharing fact checkers’ experiences
23 March 2021

As part of the Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, editors from three fact-checking organisations across these isles shared their experiences of work during the pandemic — Claire Milne (Full Fact), Christine Bohan (TheJournal.ie), and Allan Leonard (FactCheckNI). The event was hosted by Ciaran Hanna from InsideIreland.ie. Continue reading Disinformation in a pandemic: sharing fact checkers’ experiences

Children living in poverty in Northern Ireland

How many children in Northern Ireland live in poverty? Dr Julie-Ann Maney, a paediatrician who works at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, wrote an article on this topic, claiming that one third of children in Northern Ireland live in poverty. Her claim was based on projections in a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, published in 2013. Continue reading Children living in poverty in Northern Ireland

Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland is one of the most “locked-down” places in the world.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. According to a “Government Stringency Index”, the UK has one of the strictest lockdown policies in the world, but the Northern Ireland Executive’s response is not the strictest within the UK. Continue reading Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world?

Just 113 COVID-19 deaths in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic?

CLAIM: There have been just 113 COVID-19 deaths in all.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. At face value, the figure is contradicted by other evidence and ignores or misunderstands comorbidity and causes of death. Data shows that by the end of September 2020, COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death for 808 deaths (89.6%) of the 902 COVID-19-related deaths registered.  Continue reading Just 113 COVID-19 deaths in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic?

Is there a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 dying as a motorcyclist than being affected by COVID-19?

CLAIM: There is a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 in Northern Ireland dying in a motorcycle collision than being affected by COVID-19.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Data shows that there have been no motorcyclists of Sammy Wilson MP’s age who have died as a result of a motorcycle collision in Northern Ireland, in the past three years. In 2020, there were 157 deaths registered related to COVID-19, of men aged 65–74. At the time of this claim, the probability of being infected by COVID-19 in Northern Ireland was an estimated 1 in 200 (now thought to be 1 in 60).

Continue reading Is there a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 dying as a motorcyclist than being affected by COVID-19?