Non-profit

Health Feedback

Website:

healthfeedback.org

Formation:

2015

Type:

“Fact-Checking” Service

Health Feedback is a fact-checking service under the auspices of Science Feedback, which operates multiple left-leaning science-related fact-check services including Climate Feedback. [1] Science Feedback, and by extension Health Feedback, was chiefly supported by the Center for Climate Communication at the University of California, Merced, from 2015 to 2017. [2] Other prominent institutional supporters include the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, the Credibility Coalition, and the Shuttleworth Foundation. [3]

Scope

Health Feedback claims to provide credible, impartial, and crowdsourced scientific expertise for the purposes of independent, non-partisan fact checking. According to the organization’s stated criteria for accessing prospective reviewers, applicants must be scientists actively engaged in scientific research, have an MD or Ph.D. in a relevant discipline, and at least one published article in a peer-reviewed health science or medicine research journal within the last five years. [4]

Funding

Health Feedback supplements the funding it receives from a large base of small-dollar donors with the funding it receives from a smaller group of more substantial institutional supporters and individual donors. Health Feedback’s parent organization Science Feedback was chiefly supported by the Center for Climate Communication at the University of California, Merced, from 2015 to 2017. [5] Other prominent institutional supporters include the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, the Credibility Coalition, and the Shuttleworth Foundation. [6]

Noteworthy individual supporters include the following: software entrepreneur Eric Michelman ($5,000+), founder of the Climate Change Education Project and director of the More Than Scientists campaign; the Durst Family ($1,000+); The Reis Foundation ($1,000+); Amy Hutchinson ($1,000+); Bärbel Winkler ($500+); Stefan Rahmstorf ($500+); Jan Dash, PhD ($500+); Delphine Roudiere ($500+); Cyrille Vives ($500); and Dan Whaley ($500). [7]

Bias Controversy

Health Feedback flagged a video published by Live Action, a pro-life non-profit organization, as inaccurate. [8] As a result, Facebook, which partners with Health Feedback to provide “fact-checking” services for the platform, notified the pro-life group that the contents of their page would be subject to “reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news.” [9]

Critics objected to Health Feedback’s choice of reviewers, noting that “two of the physicians involved in reviewing the claim had ties to abortion rights groups.” [10] Following accusations of politically motivated censorship by Live Action, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), Facebook removed the fact check. [11]

References

  1. “About.” Science Feedback, September 30, 2019. https://sciencefeedback.co/about/. ^
  2. “Partners, Funders & Donors.” Science Feedback, October 1, 2019. https://sciencefeedback.co/partners-funders-donors/. ^
  3. “Partners, Funders & Donors.” Science Feedback, October 1, 2019. https://sciencefeedback.co/partners-funders-donors/. ^
  4. “Scientists, Get Onboard!” Health Feedback, September 19, 2019. https://healthfeedback.org/for-scientists/. ^
  5. “Partners, Funders & Donors.” Science Feedback, October 1, 2019. https://sciencefeedback.co/partners-funders-donors/. ^
  6. “Partners, Funders & Donors.” Science Feedback, October 1, 2019. https://sciencefeedback.co/partners-funders-donors/. ^
  7. “Partners, Funders & Donors.” Science Feedback, October 1, 2019. https://sciencefeedback.co/partners-funders-donors/. ^
  8. Neidig, Harper. “Facebook Removes Fact Check from Anti-Abortion Video after Criticism.” TheHill, September 12, 2019. https://thehill.com/policy/technology/461092-facebook-removes-fact-check-from-anti-abortion-video-after-criticism. ^
  9. Neidig, Harper. “Facebook Removes Fact Check from Anti-Abortion Video after Criticism.” TheHill, September 12, 2019. https://thehill.com/policy/technology/461092-facebook-removes-fact-check-from-anti-abortion-video-after-criticism. ^
  10. Neidig, Harper. “Facebook Removes Fact Check from Anti-Abortion Video after Criticism.” TheHill, September 12, 2019. https://thehill.com/policy/technology/461092-facebook-removes-fact-check-from-anti-abortion-video-after-criticism. ^
  11. Neidig, Harper. “Facebook Removes Fact Check from Anti-Abortion Video after Criticism.” TheHill, September 12, 2019. https://thehill.com/policy/technology/461092-facebook-removes-fact-check-from-anti-abortion-video-after-criticism. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Eric Michelman
    Major Donor

Associated Organizations

  1. Climate Feedback (Non-profit)
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