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[New Questions] Autocrat Public Figure Series

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UPDATE 2022.5.3: Metaculus questions have been created that directly address the claims of the autocratic leaders appearing in this series. Below is a sample of these questions. To see the full set of Public Figure forecasts and their linked questions, click one of the PFs from the list.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan:

Xi Jinping

Nicolás Maduro

Series Announcement

The crisis in Ukraine is the latest grim data point in a years-long global trend toward greater authoritarianism. The information landscape is one of the fronts of the current conflict, with significant attention paid to Russia’s propaganda apparatus. Just days before the invasion and a day after ordering troops to eastern Ukraine, President Putin stated that

We predicted speculation that Russia plans to restore [its] empire within imperial border[s] [...] This absolutely does not correspond with reality.

Disinformation campaigns, false claims, and outlandish forecasts have long been used by autocratic regimes, from Hitler’s proclamation of a Thousand Year Reich, to Mao’s 1957 declaration that rapid industrialization would allow China to economically overtake Great Britain within 15 years.

To create an accountable public record of statements made by anti-democratic regimes around the world, we've assembled Public Figure prediction pages for various autocratic leaders:

Included here are claims and predictions made not just by the figures themselves, but also by their larger state apparatuses. (Goals set in North Korea's five-year economic plan are included, for example.)

How to contribute to this series

The launch of this experimental series is also an invitation for feedback and collaboration. Share your ideas on how to best create accountable records for statements made by world leaders who have little accountability to an opposition party or to public opinion.

Upvote and comment on the individual Public Figure prediction tiles that you would most like to see linked to new Metaculus questions:


And comment with other figures you would like to see added, as well as claims or predictions they or their regimes have made.

To report a prediction or claim by a Public Figure, navigate to that figure's page and click on the 'Report Prediction' button, pictured here:


And to create a new Metaculus question in order to link it to a Public Figure prediction, or to link an existing Metaculus question, navigate to a prediction and click either the 'Create a Linked Forecast' or the 'Link Existing Question' button:


To learn more about Public Figure predictions and to see the other Public Figures currently on Metaculus, click here.