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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

How reliable is your source? Start by asking these questions

Credible fact-checking is built on reliable sources. To evaluate a source's reliability, ask these questions about the organization behind the sources, data or reports: Who founded the organization? Why? What is that person’s background? Who funds the organization? Do the funders have a political or ideological mission? If there is a board of directors, who is on it? What organizations … Read More
NEWS

Do instant fact checks work? Here's how viewers reacted in real-time

Live, "this just in" fact-checking is on the rise, and my Duke colleague Bill Adair, the founder of PolitiFact, makes a strong argument for even more of it. But what do viewers, listeners and readers think when a daily journalist or TV host spot-checks a statement in a breaking news story or a live interview? Twitter provided a … Read More
NEWS

Report: Automated fact-checking is coming (and soon)

The British fact-checking organization Full Fact published on Wednesday a road map for automated fact-checking. The document argues that fully automated fact-checking is not a far-fetched fantasy but an attainable goal. We are months — and relatively small amounts of money — away from putting practical automated tools in fact-checkers' and journalists hands. This is not the horizon of … Read More
NEWS

It's time to fact-check all the news

Political reporters are showing that fact-checking isn’t just for fact-checkers. After Donald Trump declared repeatedly last week that President Obama and Hillary Clinton "founded ISIS," an Associated Press news story called the statement "patently false." The first paragraph of an article in The Guardian referred to it as "a false claim." On NBC News, a segment by … Read More
NEWS

Those fact-checking chyrons can't be just an anti-Trump gimmick

Real time, contextual fact checks have long been considered the non plus ultra by fact-checkers. Attach a warning to a falsehood immediately, the theory goes, and it will cause far less damage. Which is why CNN's unorthodox use of chyrons has piqued political fact-checkers' attention. In June, CNN used just five letters and two brackets to point out Donald Trump had been … Read More
NEWS

Fact-checking the Olympics

The Olympic Games are a first-level media spectacle as well as a sporting event, with more than 30,000 journalists descending on Rio for the occasion. The Olympics also attract their fair share of hyperbole and dubious claims, giving fact-checkers around the world their own chance to have a field day. No real science behind cupping The swimming champion Michael … Read More
NEWS

If Reported.ly folds, social media will lose an important gatekeeper

First Look Media has decided to discontinue funding of Reported.ly, a social media reporting and verification outfit. This has led the organization to announce it will suspend operations on Aug. 31. Besides Reported.ly's editor Andy Carvin, four more staffers are affected by this decision and will be leaving First Look Media at the end of the month. Launched in … Read More
NEWS

6 fact checks you should read on Clinton's DNC speech

Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention was "the best speech of her life" and "true to her." Or, if you're Donald Trump, it was delivered in a "very average scream." But how did fact-checkers rate it? Here are six fact checks from on last night's speech. 1. On Trump's speech: … Read More
NEWS

The 2016 international fact-checking fellows will study automation and fact-checking on TV

The 2016 recipients of the Poynter international fact-checking fellowship are Cristina Tardáguila, director of Brazilian fact-checking agency Lupa and Pablo Martín Fernández, director of editorial innovation of the Argentinian fact-checking website Chequeado. The fellowships were organized by Poynter's International Fact-Checking Network and launched this year with support from the Shuttleworth Foundation. They cover the fellows' costs as … Read More
NEWS

6 fact checks you should read on Trump's RNC acceptance speech

Donald Trump's candidacy has been invoked by many as exhibit No. 1 that we have now entered a "post-fact" era (but have we really?). This hasn't stopped fact-checkers from scrutinizing his acceptance speech Thursday night at the RNC. Here are six fact checks you can't miss: 1. On crime Trump said that "decades of progress made in … Read More
NEWS

No, we're not in a 'post-fact' era

Paul Krugman called it "The Post-Truth Campaign." Farhad Manjoo said we lived in a "post-fact society." Author David Sirota welcomed us to the "post-factual era." If you are following media coverage of the U.S. presidential campaign or the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, you can’t have missed headlines like these. This is apparently the year when facts, … Read More
NEWS

A new widget delivers fact-checking where readers want it

Most fact-checking websites have forms that allow readers to submit claims they would like to get checked (see, for example, here and here). Istinomer, a Serbian fact-checking website, has gone one step further by launching a Google Chrome extension that allows users to highlight fishy claims they see anywhere online and submit them without leaving the pages … Read More
NEWS

Addicted to live news, why do we keep falling for old stories?

Among debunkers, it has become a sad certainty. In the immediate aftermath of large-scale tragedies like the one suffered by the French city of Nice on Thursday night, false news will spread on social media like wildfire. Popular social media reports are then often picked up by traditional media outlets. While some of these stories are flat out fabricated, … Read More
NEWS

As Nice horror unfolds, French authorities urge social media users to avoid sharing rumors

A truck drove into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice late on Thursday night. Even as several outlets reported more than 70 victims, the number had yet to be officially confirmed at the time of publication. With this attack, the latest in a tragic series to have shaken France in recent years, government authorities urged social media users to avoid … Read More
NEWS

Meet the man behind those bullshit Pokémon Go stories

Since Pokémon Go launched earlier this month, the nostalgia-filled iPhone game has generated its fair share of eye-catching headlines. As children, teens, and, let's face it, adults, bumble around with their eyes glued to their iPhones, some mayhem has ensued: Four teens used the game to rob multiple unsuspecting victims, the game unwittingly led a woman to discover … Read More
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