December 20, 2018

The Week in Fact-Checking is a newsletter about fact-checking and accountability journalism, from Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network & the American Press Institute’s Accountability Project. Sign up here.

Your top fact-checking links of 2018

It’s been another busy year for both the readers and authors of this newsletter.

So for the last edition of 2018 (we’re taking next week off!), we’re revisiting the 10 most-clicked articles from our newsletter. Scroll down to see which stories did best with our audience, which has grown by more than 2,500 subscribers since this time last year! Help us get to 10,000 for 2019 and share this newsletter with friends and family — perhaps when someone shares a conspiracy theory at dinner.

(Screenshot from YouTube)

10. ‘How To Spot A Deepfake Like The Barack Obama–Jordan Peele Video’ by Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed News

An instant classic, this article made “deepfake” a familiar term to all those in the misinformation space.

9. ‘Quiz: How well can you tell factual from opinion statements?’ by Pew Research Center

If you get any of these 10 questions wrong, then you might have some work to do in 2019.

8. ‘Truth, Disrupted’ by Sinan Aral, Harvard Business Review

From the co-author of an explosive study about the reach of fake news vs. fact-checking earlier this year, this six-part series explores how we can fight misinformation.

(Art/Luiz Fernando Nascimento Menezes)

7. ‘This cartoon has 7 tips for fact-checking online information’ by IFCN for

Each April, we celebrate International Fact-Checking Day the day after April Fool’s. And this year, several of our pieces for the occasion made this list ( was technically No. 1!)

6. ‘A False Claim About Kavanaugh’s Testimony Has Gone Viral On Twitter’ by Jane Lytvynenko, BuzzFeed News

Real reporters shared this false claim from a bogus Wall Street Journal account on Twitter. Insert sigh here.

5. ‘Develop basic fact-checking skills with this online course’ by IFCN for

Give the gift of verification this holiday season!

WhatsApp appears on a smartphone, Friday, March 10, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

4. ‘Fake news on WhatsApp swayed Brazil’s election. India should be worried’ by Aria Thaker, Quartz

Pretty sure this made the list because of its cringe-inducing headline. A good new year’s resolution for reporters: Be less technodeterminist.

3. ‘The #WalkAway meme is what happens when everything is viral and nothing matters’ by Abby Ohlheiser, The Washington Post

None of us deserve Abby and her smart takes.

2. ‘A Marketing Site Deleted Over 7,000 Articles After It Was Caught Stealing Fact-Checks And Plagiarizing’ by Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed News

A fact-checker catching someone plagiarizing his debunks by creating a fake news site and publishing a celebrity death hoax is perhaps the most 2018 story ever.

(Graphic by Isaac Avila Rodriguez)

1. ‘A guide to anti-misinformation actions around the world’ by Daniel Funke, IFCN/Poynter

This resource has quickly become one of the most useful things that the IFCN does, and we plan on expanding it in the new year.

Top fact-checking stories from the IFCN

3. ‘A guide to anti-misinformation actions around the world’ by Daniel Funke

Wow, again! Thank you for reading!

2. ‘A reader’s guide to falsehoods about the Kavanaugh hearings’ by Daniel Funke

The people love a fact check roundup.

1. ‘Fact-checkers have debunked this fake news site 80 times. It’s still publishing on Facebook.’ by Daniel Funke

This story has everything: Alex Jones, graphs and fake news on Facebook.

(Graphic by Isaac Avila Rodriguez)


  • What were the biggest developments in fact-checking in 2018 — and what is it going to look like in 2019? Several smart people weighed in for The Future of Facts: The IFCN’s end-of-year roundup.
  • Speaking of 2019, check out our five predictions for the upcoming year.
  • Every year, there are some pretty wild media corrections — and 2018 was no different. Here are 33 of the funniest, weirdest and most serious of the year.
  • On the second episode of (Mis)informed, we tackle the question: When does debunking just become amplification of bogus claims? Subscribe here if you haven’t yet, and stay tuned for episode three next week. 

Until 2019,

Daniel and Alexios

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Daniel Funke is a staff writer covering online misinformation for PolitiFact. He previously reported for Poynter as a fact-checking reporter and a Google News Lab…
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