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Fact-Checking

Poynter is the home of the International Fact-Checking Network. This section collects all our fact-checking articles.

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NEWS

Rating Lester Holt on the Potted-Plant-O-Meter

In the sea of takes over who won the debate last night, it's almost hard to remember that one question dominated pre-debate commentary: will Lester Holt fact-check the candidates? "The moderator shouldn't sit there like a potted plant while a candidate says something that is obviously inaccurate," PolitiFact editor Angie Holan told Poynter a few days ago. At … Read More
NEWS

Poll: 60 percent of Americans want moderators to fact-check the debate

Nearly everyone has weighed in on whether moderators should fact-check the presidential debates: the media, the campaigns, the boss of the organizing commission. Now, so have the American voters. In a poll released today by Monmouth University, 60 percent of respondents said that the debate moderators should "fact check a candidate who states false information during the … Read More
NEWS

Here's how America's fact-checkers would moderate tonight's debate

Moderating a presidential debate is one of the hardest jobs in American journalism. A mere seven people have fulfilled that role over the course of 19 debates held between 1988 and 2012. The rest of us have no idea what it takes. Tens of millions of Americans tune in to watch the political equivalent of the Super Bowl. And, … Read More
NEWS

Debates chief makes unfortunate argument against fact-checking

The debate about fact-checking the debates reached a new low on Sunday morning. On CNN, "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter asked Janet Brown, the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, whether moderators should fact-check candidates. (Disclosure: I am in favor). The director of the #Debate commission is wary of moderator fact-checking -- … Read More
NEWS

Surprise! Readers may actually pay attention to fact-checking

This may come as an unpleasant surprise to all those "post-fact" headline writers: A new study indicates that people can learn what’s true and what’s false after reading fact checks of political claims. And, perhaps more surprisingly, they learn those facts even when they run counter to their political preferences. The working paper, published this week by veteran … Read More
NEWS

'Science Vs' and the art of using humor to bust myths

It all started with Gwyneth Paltrow. In January 2015, the Hollywood star made a dubious claim about the benefits of women steam-cleaning their private parts. On the other side of the planet, Australian science journalist Wendy Zukerman thought this was one of many fads that wouldn't stand up to a rigorous fact check. When Kaitlin Sawrey, then part of … Read More
NEWS

Fact-checkers around the world agree on shared code of principles

Thirty-five organizations from 27 countries have signed a new code of principles that emphasizes the importance of transparency and a non-partisan approach. Signatories include Africa Check, Chequeado, El Objetivo on La Sexta, Factcheck.org, Full Fact, PolitiFact, Snopes and the Washington Post's Fact Checker. Around the world, the unholy trinity of partisan news outlets, social media echo chambers and fact-challenged … Read More
NEWS

Matt Lauer's forum performance is a symptom of a larger problem

"Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" was long a popular segment on "Today." If only he'd been in, say, Jakarta rather than New York City Wednesday night, he wouldn't be suffering rebukes for artlessly questioning Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He also would have avoided becoming the brunt of a hashtag, "#LaueringTheBar," a pun that began trending on … Read More
NEWS

Who decides what’s true in politics? A history of the rise of political fact-checking

Fact-checking may have gone mainstream in recent years, but it's still controversial. That's according to Lucas Graves, a professor and former magazine journalist who wrote the newly released "Deciding What’s True: The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism." Graves, who teaches journalism at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, spent hundreds of hours over the past five years interviewing … Read More
NEWS

Fail and move on: Lessons from automated fact-checking experiments

It is easy to get excited about the future of automated fact-checking, with all the promising projects being led by journalists, tech companies and academics. But it's also early days for the field, and many early projects are unlikely to yield anything practically or commercially viable. Which is precisely why such pilot projects are instructive. We looked back … Read More
NEWS

Facebook should hire fact-checkers. Here's what they would do

Media criticism of Facebook is pouring in after a lack of editorial oversight on Monday led to a new Trending Topics-related hiccup (in case you missed it, the social network highlighted a totally fake story about Fox News host Megyn Kelly). While the previous brouhaha erupted over the tricky ethical issue of whether Facebook should balance political perspectives … Read More
NEWS

Every Friday until the elections, the Washington Post will flood social media with fact checks

Commentators may be waxing lyrical about the "post-fact" era, but readers — at least at The Washington Post — don't seem to be buying it. Back in July, National Digital Editor Terri Rupar noticed traffic to the Republican National Convention liveblog "really spiked" when the Post announced on social networks that it would include analysis from in-house fact-checking duo … Read More
NEWS

Jokes come first in 'The Daily Show's' fact-checking segment

Step aside, Pinocchios and Pants on Fire. "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central has entered the fact-checking world with ratings such as "a puppy snorting cocaine" and "a John Travolta." "The Daily Show’s" "What the Actual Fact?" segments can sometimes seem as substantive as PolitiFact or The Washington Post's Fact-Checker. But they also contain the kind of silliness you expect … Read More
NEWS

The more partisan your online media diet, the less likely you are to believe fact-checkers

Reading lots of partisan news online makes you more likely to hold inaccurate beliefs even if you are aware of the prevailing evidence, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. The study was conducted ahead of the 2012 presidential election with support from the National Science Foundation. The researchers had a polling firm … Read More
NEWS

How are Latin American fact-checkers paying for their work? Grants, events, services and crowdfunding

External fact-checking is growing in general and in Latin America in particular, but paying for this work remains a key concern. Fact-checkers in the region, which span commercial media outlets and nonprofit organizations, have taken on different approaches to fundraising. Lupa, from Brazil, is among the former. Founded as a private company in February 2016, it is … Read More
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