Reputable Fact Checker Sites

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During the 2016 election season, the Washington Post reported:

“The flood of “fake news” . . . got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.”

In addition, there are a number of people who create fake news for money. As the Washington Post reported of one set of these “new yellow journalists”:

Fake-news hucksters don’t leave their apartment to find stories, they don’t interview any humans, they don’t have any sources.

They are part of the snake-oil empire that had more engagement on Facebook in the past three months of the presidential campaign “than the top stories from major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News and others,” according to an analysis by BuzzFeed.”

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Thus, it is useful to keep a list of reputable fact-checking sites. Some of the better ones include the following:

Factcheck.org (from the Annenberg Public Policy Center)
Politifact.com
TheFact-Checker.com (from the Washington Post)
Pew Research Center Fact Tank
The Century Foundation
Open Secrets.org (the most comprehensive resource for federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis; features tracking money and how it affects politics.)
Snopes.com (specializes in internet memes)

Eugene Kiely of FactCheck.org admonishes readers to “[b]e skeptical. Check the author. Check the publisher. Check the sources.”:

“You have no idea how many people forward us emails that are anonymously written that made unsubstantiated claims with no sources. Same thing with some ‘stories’ and ‘reports’ written and posted on partisan and advocacy websites. Who is behind the website? What’s their agenda? How it is funded? How transparent is it? Does its articles and reports provide named sources of information with links to source material so readers can check the facts themselves? Reagan used to say, ‘Trust, but verify.’ I’d say verify first, and then determine if the source is worthy of your trust.”

I find that what the Washington Post claims about its fact checking site to be true in general with respect to all of these sites:

We will strive to be dispassionate and non-partisan, drawing attention to inaccurate statements on both left and right.”

There’s a valuable guide to evaluating websites here.

About rhapsodyinbooks

We're into reading, politics, and intellectual exchanges.
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