In this section, the researchers and contributors to the WHISTLING AT THE FAKE project will provide a range of opinions, research articles, and reports. These will cover reflections on contemporary and developing situations, highlight recent events and contributions from research partners, and include scientific contributions to our understanding of the impacts of misinformation and disinformation.
This technical report, authored by Samantha Feinstein and Hannah Kim, has been produced by our partner Government Accountability Project, which is an organization that is a leader in whistleblower advocacy at the global level.
The purpose of this study is to examine the critical role that whistleblowers played in countering disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this is a global study, it primarily examines selected case studies in the U.S., U.K., and France that illustrate the important role that whistleblowers played in countering disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through researching information in the public domain, the report also explores global trends in whistleblowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report shows that whistleblowers have played an important role in countering disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, governments or corporations attempted to silence them, sending a chilling message to would-be whistleblowers and ultimately harming resilience to disinformation. The study also highlights that the laws that protect free speech are inadequate to protect whistleblowers, the channels for investigation are unable to handle the disclosures adequately, and nations fail to prioritize whistleblower protection.
This special edition episode has been produced by our partner What Does It Profit? as an integral part of this research project. Dr. Dawn Carpenter, who is in conversation with Dr. Elisabeth Bik and Dr. Ivan Oransky, has taken the opportunity to discuss matters of misinformation and disinformation in science, and the moral value of truth.
• Dr. Elisabeth Bik is a microbiologist and scientific integrity consultant who has worked to call out fraudulent scientific papers. She became renowned for her fight against the bad science behind hydroxychloroquine as an effective therapy against COVID-19 that resulted in a global Twitter assault.
• Dr. Ivan Oransky is an accomplished journalist, editor, and educator who founded Retraction Watch, the world’s only aggregated database of scientific retraction.