Fact Checking Sites to Explore

ISTE Top 10 sites to help students check their facts, February 12, 2020

This site is run by the editors and reporters of the Tampa Bay Times and has received a Pulitzer Prize for its work. It’s a nonpartisan group that serves as the gold standard of fact checking, in fact, many media outlets regularly check their stories against them.

It’s known mainly for analyzing politicians and pundits on its “Truth-O-Meter,” which has a five-point scale: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants on Fire. The team chooses where the pundit’s statement falls based on a number of factors, including context, the burden of proof, reliable sources, word choice, statement correctness and timing.

Another great feature they have is the “Flip-O-Meter,” which tracks a candidate or politician’s consistency on an issue. (Quoted from icitizen – rated first by icitizen and MediaBias/Fact Check)

FactCheck.org – A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. They are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Fact Check is similar to Politifact in their coverage and they provide excellent details. The only drawback is they lack the simplicity of Politifact. (Quoted from MediaBias/Fact Check; rated second by ISTE, icitizen and MediaBias/Fact Check)

Media Bias/Fact Check
(Note from Bob: I found MediaBias/Fact Check to be the most comprehensive and transparent site. The following summaries have been copied from their site with permission)
Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC News) is an independent online media outlet. MBFC News is dedicated to educating the public on media bias and deceptive news practices. MBFC News’ aim is to inspire action and a rejection of overtly biased media. We want to return to an era of straight forward news reporting. Funding for MBFC News comes from site advertising, individual donors, and the pockets of our bias checkers.
MBFC News follows a strict methodology for determining the biases of sources. Dave Van Zandt is the primary editor for sources. He is assisted by a collective of volunteers who assist in research for many sources listed on these pages.

Open Secrets
Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Open Secrets are by far the best source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money. They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.

Snopes has been the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation for a long time. Snopes is also usually the first to report the facts.

The Sunlight Foundation
This nonprofit organization focuses on paving the way for government transparency through open data, policy analysis and data-driven journalism. According to their site, their vision is “for technology to enable more complete, equitable and effective democratic participation. Our overarching goal is to achieve changes in the law to require real-time, online transparency for all government information.” They’ve partnered with What Works Cities to do just that: working with local agencies to make their policies more open for public access. Sign up for their daily newsletter to help break down the headlines each day, and see what’s true and what isn’t in real time.

Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute is not a true fact checking service. They are however a leader in distinguished journalism and produce nothing but credible and evidence based content. If Poynter reports it, you can count on it being true.

Flack Check – Headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania
FlackCheck.org is the political literacy companion site to the award-winning FactCheck.org. The site provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular.

Truth or Fiction
Very similar to Snopes. They tend to focus more on political rumors and hoaxes.

Hoax Slayer
Another service that debunks or validates internet rumors and hoaxes.

Fact Checker by the Washington Post
The Washington Post has a very clear left-center bias and this is reflected in their fact checks. Their fact checks are excellent and sourced; however their bias is reflected in the fact that they fact check right wing claims more than left.