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Posts by Alexios Mantzarlis

About Alexios Mantzarlis

Alexios Mantzarlis joined Poynter to lead the International Fact-Checking Network in September of 2015. In this capacity he writes about and advocates for fact-checking. He also trains and convenes fact-checkers globally. Mantzarlis previously served as Managing Editor of Pagella Politica (Disclosure) and FactCheckEU, respectively Italy's main political fact-checking website and the EU's first multilingual crowd-checking project. He has presented fact-checking segments on Italian TV and led seminars on fact-checking around the world. Before becoming a fact-checker he worked for the United Nations and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies.
NEWS

Conservative websites are far more likely to attack fact-checkers than their liberal counterparts

During the 2016 presidential election, popular conservative websites were far more likely to criticize fact-checking organizations than their liberal counterparts, according to a new analysis of 10 U.S. partisan publications. The analysis, conducted by the Duke Reporters' Lab, logged 792 statements mentioning fact-checkers and categorized them as positive, negative or neutral. While a majority of citations (68 percent) … Read More
NEWS

Repetition boosts lies — but could help fact-checkers, too

You can't remember all the things you know all of the time, so you rely on some mental shortcuts to get on with life. For instance: You are likelier to think something is true if you've encountered it more often. This phenomenon is known as the "familiarity effect" or "fluency heuristic" and has been documented by a relatively ample body … Read More
NEWS

Can fact-checkers agree on what is true? New study doesn't point to the answer

False. Pants on Fire. Three Pinocchios. Ratings are often the most popular and the most controversial part of fact checks. Readers enjoy their clarity. Search engines benefit from the structure they provide. And, because they can provoke irate reactions, ratings force reporters to build the strongest possible case for their conclusions. A majority of fact-checkers use ratings, according to … Read More
NEWS

Trendolizer wants to be the Tweetdeck for fake news

Fake news stories are often extremely easy to debunk. Fact-checking "Pope Francis endorses Donald Trump" required little more than an analysis of papal interviews and an email to the Vatican press office. Some fakers don't even bother writing up an article to back up their hoax headlines. Yet by the time fact-checkers arrive on the scene of a … Read More
NEWS

'On The Media's' Brooke Gladstone on 'The Trouble with Reality'

Brooke Gladstone doesn't like the term "post-fact." But she doesn't think facts are doing great, either. Her new book — "The Trouble with Reality," available May 16 — is a brief work targeted at those unsettled by President Trump's attack on facts. True to form, the co-host of WNYC's "On The Media" doesn't deliver a monologue but a pacey … Read More
NEWS

French and American voters seem to respond in a similar way to fact-checking

An unequivocally positive side-effect of all the "fake news" headlines has been a growing interest among social scientists to research the impact of fact-checking. In one of the most recent studies (here in English), economists at the Paris School of Economics and Sciences Po found that providing factual information on immigration improved French voters' understanding but didn't reduce their … Read More
NEWS

New report on fake news recommends fighting it with more conservatives, greater collaboration and better access to data

Outreach to conservatives, increased collaboration between journalists and academics and more data from major social media companies could help fight the tide of fake news, according to a report released Monday by the the Harvard Kennedy School and Northeastern University. The premise of the first recommendation — involving more conservative voices and institutions like the Cato and Koch Institutes … Read More
NEWS

How has political fact-checking changed after Trump's first 100 days? Not much.

For fact-checkers, 2016 never really ended. Last year, fact-checking websites drew record traffic. Polls found majorities in favor of more fact-checking. Many mainstream media organizations shed their reluctance to call out falsehoods within everyday reporting. Studies found that fact-checking can work, despite the "post-fact" doomsayers. Yet that same year, the Pants-on-Fire candidate became the … Read More
NEWS

You can now tell Google that Obama was not the 8th Black U.S. president

Late last year, Google tweaked its search algorithm to fix a pesky problem: Users who asked the search engine whether the Holocaust occurred were served a post from the White supremacist site Stormfront denying its existence as a top result. Similar problems occasionally arise with Google's featured "snippets," the prominently displayed boxes that highlight highly-cited answers from around the … Read More
NEWS

A French journalist is bringing fact checks to millions using Facebook Live and his own two feet

Julien Pain was tired of preaching to the choir. After spending several years debunking viral fakes for France 24's Les Observateurs, Pain was on the lookout for a format that would expand the reach of his fact-checking. "I realized I was only reaching people who agreed with me," says Pain. "And people who didn't check their information wouldn't be … Read More
NEWS

Google is now highlighting fact checks in search

Google rolled out a new feature Friday morning that will help fact checks stand out in search results. Rendering courtesy Google - not an actual search result. If a search query returns a result that includes a fact check, it will be featured as a snippet on the result page (see right). The snippet will always include who said the … Read More
NEWS

Is it time to completely rethink fact-checking?

The basic format of political fact-checking is identical the world over: Start from a widely circulated claim by a public figure, then rate the truthfulness of its objectively verifiable components. Tom Rosenstiel, executive director at the American Press Institute, thinks it may be time to rethink this model. Local newsrooms especially, he suggests, should make “the key unit of fact-checking … Read More
FROM THE POYNTER INSTITUTE

This Sunday, celebrate International Fact-Checking Day

On April 2 — not coincidentally the day after April Fools' Day — we’ll celebrate the inaugural International Fact-Checking Day. The initiative is a collaboration by fact-checkers and journalism organizations from around the world, with a goal to enlist the public in the fight against misinformation in all its forms. On the website of the initiative, you … Read More
NEWS

Rivals become partners in Norway's newest fact-checking project

Imagine that The New York Times, The Washington Post and PBS launched a joint fact-checking project. That is, roughly speaking, what happened in Norway earlier this week. VG and Dagbladet, Norway's two largest online news sources by readership, joined forces with NRK, the public broadcaster, to launch Faktisk. The initiative, a team of at least five journalists led by … Read More
NEWS

This online tool makes checking crowd sizes easier

Donald Trump is neither the first nor the last politician to mislead the public about his crowd's size. Long before the 45th President of the United States was grossly overestimating attendance at his inauguration, another tycoon-turned-politician was exaggerating his own turnouts. Silvio Berlusconi, a fixture of Italian politics for two decades, claimed more than 10 years ago that … Read More
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