Fact-Checking

This section hosts stories about and by the International Fact-Checking Network. Find out more about the IFCN here.

France assigns Lying Oscars. And the winner is...

Fact-checkers around the world are increasingly awarding — or letting their readers elect — the most outrageous political fib from the ones they fact-checked in the previous year. The awards are meant to be tongue-in-cheek, because no fact-checker has covered every single claim made the previous year. But they do help bring attention to claims that were widely shared despite … Read More
In Case You Missed It

How to win arguments on social media

The author of the now defunct "What Was Fake on the Internet This Week" column looks at a study by researchers at Cornell on how people's minds are changed on Reddit.

Dead links plague journalists. This app is trying to fix that.

We have become so accustomed to accessing information online whenever and wherever we want that we mostly behave as if all information will be preserved forever. We are dead wrong. Journalists need to do more to preserve their own work, but they also need to do much more to safeguard the information they are linking to in their … Read More

Fact-checkers experiment with Snapchat, GIFs and other stuff millennials ♥

Snapchat; GIFs; short videos. Fact-checkers have been slowly turning their attention to adapting their work to newer formats that are more attractive to younger readers. There are two limitations built-in to fact-checking that make this process harder. The first is that fact checks often require extensive context: Of the six fact-checking websites studied by University of Wisconsin professor Lucas Graves … Read More

Should journalists outsource fact-checking to academics?

Fact-checking, with its reliance on statistics and experts, longer publishing times and occasionally unsexy findings, is in several ways more akin to academia than it is to other parts of journalism. Fact-checkers find themselves scrutinizing scientific research, official datasets or U.N. figures in order to complete their work, not unlike academics. Some fact-checkers even … Read More

Fact-checking on TV: Australia's ABC Fact Check

(This article is a part of a series of deep dives into fact-checking on TV: how it comes about, what type of organization is required, what the output looks like and what impact it has. Check out the bottom of the page for the first article in this series. ) Fact-checking as a standalone journalistic feature has sprung up in … Read More

Skepticism before sympathy: why journalists should verify figures from the U.N., NGOs and nonprofits

In a 2014 press release, the U.N. reported that 5,000 people crossed from Eritrea to neighboring Ethiopia in October of that year. It was an alarming surge of people fleeing a country with indefinite military service and severe constrictions on personal freedom. In a more recent, widely publicized report, the U.N. stated that “overall, it is estimated that … Read More

Poynter and Duke to hold conference on automated fact-checking

Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network and the Duke Reporters’ Lab will host “Tech & Check,” the first conference to explore the promise and challenges of automated fact-checking. Tech & Check, to be held March 31 to April 1 at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, will bring together experts from academia, journalism and the tech industry. The conference will … Read More

The secret to live fact-checking? Be very, very prepared.

Big presidential addresses and campaign debates are political junkies' Superbowl: a live event scheduled long in advance that will be followed by a large audience of people who usually don't care and tweeted about furiously by fans. As such, political fact-checkers dedicate extensive time and energy to fact-checking these events. If you don't believe me, here are two videos of … Read More

Fact-checking: does anyone even care?

Last year ended with a lot of discussion among media types in the U.S. and abroad about whether fact-checking actually matters. Two things set off the flurry of articles: Donald Trump's brazen rejection of the findings of fact-checkers and The Washington Post's Caitlin Dewey shutting down her “What was fake on the internet this week” feature. Here are … Read More

Why do fact-checking sites close? And how can new ones avoid that fate?

Most people would instinctively reply "money" and "get more money" to the questions in the headline. And they wouldn’t be wrong. Nonetheless, fact-checkers face a few additional challenges to finding a sustainable business model than journalism in general (which already has its fair share of trouble). First of all, because their mission is tied to offering an impartial service, fact-checkers … Read More

The funny, the weird, the elaborate, the terrible - 33 media errors from 2015

Expecting infallibility from journalists is unrealistic. Granted, sometimes, corrections are entirely unwarranted, like this one from NPR. Clarification May 21, 2015 In a previous correction on this post, we corrected something that was actually correct. So we have corrected that correction. It had to do with Celsius temperatures. Some corrections are so brilliant they are … Read More

2016 will be the year of automated, weaponized and outsourced fact-checking

In the U.S. and elsewhere, 2016 holds great potential for fact-checkers, and not merely in terms of higher visibility. The coming year could be a big one for the impact, funding and technology of fact-checking globally. Forecasts, with their inherent reliance on uncertainty and subjectivity, are quite antithetical to fact-checking. So as partial expiation for indulging in this seasonal vice, … Read More