Caption: Logo of SAGE Publishing
The pledge has already made a notable public impact, with a series of public figures, including high-profile ones such as members of US Congress and state legislatures as well as prominent organizations and globally-known intellectuals taking the plunge. However, to make a truly profound impact beyond the circle of initial supporters requires getting funding to promote the Pro-Truth Pledge to a broad audience, both from individual donors and from institutional donors.
The innovative nature of the Pro-Truth Pledge – an approach informed by combining extensive behavioral science research with crowdsourcing – means that traditional institutional donors who support initiatives to fight misinformation and protect democracy have chosen not to fund it. This decision is unfortunate, as we have research showing the effectiveness of the pledge in changing people’s behaviors to be more truthful.
Fortunately, SAGE Publishing – a global independent publisher committed to social science – was inspired by the pledge’s use of behavioral science to overcome problems of misinformation. SAGE is a non-traditional funder of such efforts, and its commitment to social science research, combined with its flexibility and dedication to choosing the most effective strategies, caused it to extend sponsorship to the pledge.
This investment is part of a broader portfolio, as SAGE has been involved with a number of recent efforts to promote truth-oriented behavior including. This includes publishing new resources that promote critical thinking, such as: Tom Chatfield’s Critical Thinking: Your Guide to Effective Argument, Successful Analysis and Independent Study; supporting MisinfoCon DC, which brought together a group of people to identify policy and regulatory methods of fighting misinformation; and sponsoring Public Editor, a high-scale content analysis tool that involves digital volunteers in multi-layered, simultaneous assessments of news articles.
The Pro-Truth Pledge is glad to have our first institutional funder, and applauds the sage decision by SAGE!