Climate Feedback brings the expertise of the scientific community to online coverage of climate change by allowing experts to assess the credibility and accuracy of media coverage on climate change.
Launched in collaboration between researchers at UC Merced and UC Berkeley, Climate Feedback builds on the new technology of web-annotations developed by the San Francisco-based nonprofit Hypothesis. This new technology enables scientists from around the world to comment directly on media articles and assign a “credibility” rating based on their evaluations. “We believe it’s our civic duty to make the scientific realities of climate change better known to the public,” said Dr. Emmanuel Vincent, Lead Scientist of Climate Feedback. “Enabling readers to evaluate the trustworthiness of online climate change information is a first step in reaching this goal.”
Over the past year, the program has expanded its network of scientific contributors to include researchers from over 30 leading universities and over 15 government agencies and research institutes from the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. These researchers have begun using this crowdsourcing platform to evaluate relevant articles. All article’s analyses are archived on the Climate Feedback website. Climate Feedback is currently developing tools that will allow users to easily compare and contrast the credibility of different news sources.
Figure 1. Screenshot illustrating the Credibility Rating issued by scientists featured as an annotation on top of the article.
Evaluations gathered through Climate Feedback have already had a notable impact on climate change reporting. The Telegraph issued a correction and heavily modified its article after Climate Feedback scientists identified inaccuracies in their reporting. Rolling Stone Magazine editors agreed to include several links to original scientific research that would strengthen its article after scientists pointed to the lack of references to support its claims.
Funded in part by a CITRIS Seed Fund grant, Climate Feedback is an ongoing experiment and will evolve by incorporating remarks from experts and participants. For a description of the site’s evaluation guidelines, visit http://climatefeedback.org/process/.
Climate Feedback recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to support further development of the platform. To contribute, please visit: https://igg.me/at/Stand-with-Science
More information on Climate Feedback is available at http://climatefeedback.org