PolitiFact asks its readers: Should ‘Barely True’ rating be changed to ‘Mostly False’?

Over the years, PolitiFact readers haven’t expressed much love for the Barely True rating, which is reserved for “statements that have a small amount of truth but otherwise exaggerate or distort,” writes Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact. In a recent case, a Republican Party committee misrepresented a Barely True rating as True. “After hearing so many complaints about Barely True over the years, that episode was a key moment in our thinking about Barely True,” Adair writes. “So we are considering changing the rating from Barely True to Mostly False. We’re increasingly convinced that our existing approach does in fact put too much emphasis on ‘true.’” PolitiFact (a project of Poynter’s St. Petersburg Times) has asked its readers to weigh in on its Facebook page. As of Monday afternoon, most people — make that “many people” so that PolitiFact doesn’t fact-check this — had asked for the ruling to be changed.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/charley.stough Charles Stough

    I recommended “On the ragged edge.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Levy/1332321421 Marc Levy

    Sure, change it to “false.” But Politifact has more important steps to take: some of its calls are simply bad, and seem politically motivated — the opposite of what the site is supposed to be; when it gets feedback about bad calls, it doesn’t seem to consider the feedback seriously; and it doesn’t change its calls no matter how cogent the feedback.

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Politifact listening, much less changing something. And we’ve yet to see the results of this effort.How can you take a fact-checking site seriously that doesn’t check its own facts and isn’t transparent in its process? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Berman/100000669729095 Dan Berman

    It should be changed to false. Barely true and mostly false is giving them a break a for lying.