July 22, 2021

Ground Truth Challenge: Days 2 - 5

Alright, the rebuttals have begun!

But let's rewind. As of today, we've received 105 submissions, sent 35 to our referees, just under half of which (15) have been fully reviewed.

ParticipantsSubmissionsRejectedSent for reviewFully reviewedPassed 1st roundContested
July 1795240121250
July 18429263300
July 19514010005
July 203707000
July 212303000

Of those, two-thirds failed to advance to the second round. The five that were validated were all contested by various participants on Twitter, which means the referees will now re-assess each claim, taking into account any new evidence provided in the threads.

Note: the response period was increased from 24h to 48h after this tweet went out.

The submissions include four falsifications and one "unsupported claim" challenge. They're from four different participants, touching on the following five issues:

  • Did the COVID vaccines skip animal trials?
  • Was the WHO minimizing airborne transmission (at time of podcast date)?
  • Is there support for Bret's comment that "prophylactic Ivermectin is something [like] 100% effective at preventing people from contracting COVID when taken properly." ?
  • Is it correct to say biodistribution of lipid nanoparticles from COVID-19 vaccines "peaks in your ovaries"?
  • Does a treatment course of Remdesivir cost around $6-$8k?

Looking at these and other submissions, it does seem that many of the entries -- even those that may fail validation – bring to light statements that could benefit from clarification. And in fact one of the ideas we have in mind for when this project concludes is to produce an annotated version of the transcripts with additional nuance, context or clarifications provided by as many as possible of the submissions we've received. More on this to come in a later post.

One of the challenges was directly responded to by a primary author (Steve Kirsch), which is something that we were hoping to see happen.

Moving on, we want to give a shout-out to Allister Clark for one of the most well put together challenges so far. The thread is detailed and the argument well articulated and backed up (note: just commenting on the form here, not the substance/ veracity). But the thread deserves an accolade for another reason: It is the first challenge we've received where the submitter also contested his own claim....  We applaud the integrity, though obviously the challenge's success may find itself on shakier grounds.

Finally, we've definitely seen a slowdown in participation and submissions, and a few people have asked us to extend the deadline and/or increase the submission limit. We are considering these, however we need to be mindful of our referees' time and availability, as everyone is doing this as a volunteer project in their spare spare time. We did increase the submission cap to 5 and the response time to 48 hours (see rules update here) and will keep you posted if we make any other changes to the project, both here, on Github and Twitter.

That's it for now!