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Poor Measures of Fact Checker Bias

After Sen. Ted Cruz needled mainstream fact-checker PolitiFact by calling it “a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party,” PolitiFact responded with a hilariously tone-deaf article PolitiSplaining why it was not, in fact, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party. The conservative media criticism site Newsbusters piled on with an article intended to show PolitiFact’s partiality to the political left. But…
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Email exchange with Warren Fiske (PolitiFact Virginia), with notes

In March of 2019 we noticed some discrepancies in a gender wage gap article by Warren Fiske of PolitiFact Virginia. We sent messages asking about the discrepancies and received replies from Fiske. Notably, PolitiFact did make at least three changes to its story in apparent response to our messages. The email exchange occurs below, excluding some extra messages stemming from…
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Complaint to the IFCN regarding PolitiFact, Feb. 26, 2019

On Feb. 26, 2019 Zebra Fact Check sent a message to the International Fact-Checking Network detailing PolitiFact’s failure to adhere to an open and honest policy on corrections. Our use of an apostrophe in the filename for our .pdf may have delayed IFCN’s receipt of the message, but it was eventually received (we resubmitted the file with a new name…
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Complaint to the IFCN regarding PolitiFact, January 2019

In January 2019 (likely Jan. 23, 2019 based on its edit history) we sent a complaint to the International Fact-Checking Network regarding PolitiFact’s failure to adhere to an open and honest corrections policy. The message detailed PolitiFact’s failure to support its conclusion that President Trump had contradicted himself on the subject of Mexico paying by check for the proposed U.S….
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Email Outreach to PolitiFact, Jan. 16, 2019

On Jan. 16, 2019, Zebra Fact Check sent an email to PolitiFact alerting the IFCN-certified fact checkers that their fact check of President Trump on Jan 10, 2019 (our email incorrectly says 2018) failed to produce adequate evidence of an alleged contradiction. As of Sept. 15, 2019 we could detect no action on PolitiFact’s part to explain or correct the…
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Complaint to the IFCN regarding PolitiFact, October 2018

On October 5, 2018 we submitted a complaint through the IFCN noting PolitiFact Missouri’s ruling on a claim from Republican Josh Hawley unduly ignored the precision of Hawley’s statement. This complaint differs from most of the others in that PolitiFact sent a response. It is worth noting that we specifically requested a response in this case. It is also worth…
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PolitiFact, corrections and accountability

We have long criticized PolitiFact for failing to heed reasonable requests for corrections as well as its too-frequent failures to follow its own corrections policies. When the International Fact-Checking Network committed itself to the role of policing signatories to its statement of principles and stated it would accept and review specific complaints about the fact-checking organizations under its umbrella, we…
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