Screengrabs could be a mixed bag when it comes to accuracy

July 24, 2018
Category: Newsletters

You need to be careful what you share on the Internet … even if it comes with a PolitiFact label.

At PolitiFact, we saw this play out today when Twitter user @r_mccormick replied to a tweet from President Donald Trump with an image purportedly showing Trump’s PolitiFact scorecard. The graphic showed Trump having zero statements rated by PolitiFact as True. There, “0” was circled with exclamation points.

We’re not going to show you the unedited image here, and for good reason, because it’s not real.

At least it’s not real today.

The image in question tracks back to November 2015 and a WordPress blog post that tried to document Trump’s falsehoods on the campaign trail. The image was then recycled a handful of times on people’s Twitter feeds and other websites.

It’s unclear to us if the data was correct for Trump in 2015 or if the original image was doctored. But what is clear is that the data is now terribly out of date.

That’s a problem with screengrabs, and why proper Internet sleuths should always track their material back to its source. In this case, if you did, you’d end up here, where you’d see Trump’s PolitiFact record at this very instant.

Kudos to @r_mccormick, who deleted the post when we noticed the mistake.

As of this writing, PolitiFact has rated statements made by Trump as True 27 times.