Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales backs Facts Matter election campaign

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has backed a campaign challenging political Parties and candidates to run fact-based General Election campaigns. The Facts Matter campaign is run by CILIP, the library and information association and has been launched in response to the snap election in a bid to cut through misinformation and to hold politicians to account.

Jimmy Wales said:

“I am delighted to back the Facts Matter campaign. There is a huge demand for reliable facts and evidence, particularly as the UK goes to the polls. Candidates and political Parties need to understand their role to meet this demand. This will go a long way to restoring public trust in the political process.”

CILIP is calling on all Parties and candidates to make a public pledge that Facts Matter and declare their commitment to running evidence-based election campaigns.

Nick Poole, CILIP Chief Executive said:

“When Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway coined the phrase ‘alternative facts’ she illustrated how dangerously fluid views on evidence and factual information have become. This isn’t an isolated case; we are witnessing challenges to our confidence in facts and evidence across public life.”

“As librarians and information professionals we know that facts matter and that evidence-based decisions are good decisions. The General Election is the biggest decision the UK will make this year and previous elections and referenda have clearly shown the urgent need for reliable facts in the political debate. There is a growing movement to fight for evidence and facts in public life, which CILIP is proud to be part of.”

Jimmy Wales has recently announced the launch of WikiTribune, a crowd-funded news site in which professional journalists and volunteers will collaborate on stories to challenge online ‘fake news’.

A campaign hub has everything supporters need to contact their local candidates to ask them to make the Facts Matter pledge and help promote the campaign.

 

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Press contact

Mark Taylor Director of External Relations, CILIP
mark.taylor@cilip.org.uk
020 7255 0654
07792 635 305

Notes for editors

1. CILIP, the library and information association is the leading voice for the information, knowledge management and library profession. Our goal is to put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014.

2. The Facts Matter pledge asks Parties to “Recognise the vital role of facts and evidence in political campaigning for ensuring public trust and confidence in the democratic process, and to take all reasonable steps to run a fact-based 2017 General Election campaign.”