Analysis Framework
Online Misinformation Harm
How urgent is it to respond?

Last updated: January 26, 2024
(Version 2.0)

What factors can fact-checkers consider when making strategic decisions to prioritizing which post or message to address? The Online Misinformation Harm framework was developed in response to this need. The aim of this framework is to help fact-checkers assign degrees of urgency to potentially harmful content, in order to identify which to prioritize first.

The FABLE framework describes five dimensions of potential urgency when it comes to handling misinformation as a harm. The five dimensions are:

These five dimensions are each refined into a set of indicators, expressed as yes/no questions, which reflect factors that are currently understood to have an impact upon the misinformation’s magnitude of potential harm.

More about the research behind this framework, and the corresponding questionnaire, can be found in our paper, Misinformation as a Harm: Structured Approaches for Fact-Checking Prioritization.

Our findings were initially published in a September 2022 working paper, Urgent: A Structured Response to Misinformation as Harm.

A detailed version of the questionnaire alone can be found on the Online Misinformation Harm Questionnaire page of this website.


Methodology and Acknowledgments

The development of this framework was informed by existing research in the fields of misinformation, cyber-harms and hate speech, as well as by semi-structured interviews with professional fact-checkers. It is a joint effort between the ARTT project team and research partners tied to the UW Social Futures Lab.