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Email outreach to the International Fact-Checking Network, Sept. 22, 2020

The International Fact-Checking Network allowed its stable of verified fact-checking organizations an extended period to complete their renewal process, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The normal window for renewal is three months. The IFCN, so far as we are aware, has established no limit on the extended grace period. The IFCN has, however, invited the public to ask the IFCN…
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The week in weak fact-checking

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Mainstream fact checkers have had a terrible October so far in 2020. Their poor performance prompts this answer to the Poynter Institute’s “Factually” newsletter and its “The Week in Fact-checking” with what we’re tempted to call “The Weak in Fact-checking.” FactCheck.org Whitewashes Steele Dossier Annenberg Fact Check (FactCheck.org) chastised Republicans for citing an unverified intelligence report from Russia saying the…
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Snopes’ semantic contortions on Trump & taxes

Mainstream fact checker Snopes.com on Sept. 28, 2016 (tweeted out on its four-year anniversary) published a fact check on whether Donald Trump said not paying federal taxes made him smart. The fact check exemplifies one of the semantic games mainstream fact checkers end up playing: Interpreting claims to fit a narrative instead of giving them a natural contextual interpretation. The…
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Another International Fact-Checking Network failure on accountability

The International Fact-Checking Network has updated its system for verifying fact-checking organizations’ compliance with its “Code of Principles” in 2020. But in practice so far the new IFCN system seems no better than the one Zebra Fact Check tested in 2019. In 2019 the review of PolitiFact failed to mention complaints Zebra Fact Check submitted. The IFCN failed to deliver…
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