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Email Outreach to PolitiFact April 25, 2019

We emailed PolitiFact on April 25, 2019 to encourage corrections to PolitiFact Vermont’s April 24, 2019 fact check of Bernie Sanders. Sanders said Vermont’s constitution has always allowed everybody to vote, therefore jailed persons in Vermont can vote. PolitiFact rated the claim “True.” We pointed out a number of errors. We will update this item if we receive any relevant…
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Gray Areas of IFCN Verification

A fact-checking organization either is or is not a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles. Right? In truth, it’s hard to tell. The system has gray areas. First, “partial compliance” apparently counts the same as “full compliance” with various IFCN criteria. Fact-checking organizations routinely pass inspection despite failing to fully comply with the IFCN code of…
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Brooke Binkowski and the March of Dimes

Are fact checkers immune to confirmation bias? Survey says no. On Twitter today fact checker Brooke Binkowski, current managing editor for Truth or Fiction and former managing editor for Snopes, posted a link to the non-profit March of Dimes’ page on “neonatal abstinence syndrome.” Binkowski had wondered on Twitter what neonatal abstinence syndrome meant and answered her own question with…
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Fact Checker Fail on Pre-existing Conditions

The Washington Post Fact Checker Turns Fact-Checking on its Head Health care has emerged as a key issue for the 2018 mid-term elections. The mainstream press has largely supported a narrative that support for a lawsuit asserting the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional shows opposition to protections for pre-existing conditions. The Washington Post Fact Checker published a fact check showcasing…
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PolitiFact Gives Zebra Fact Check the Brush-off

The Brush-off On Oct. 3, 2018 Zebra Fact Check contacted PolitiFact to point out the need for a correction to a PolitiFact Missouri fact check from Sept. 20, 2018. Our message explained the correction was necessary because PolitiFact Missouri had rated “Mostly False” a claim PolitiFact had stated as true in 2013. PolitiFact gave Zebra Fact Check the brush-off. PolitiFact…
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Email Exchange With PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders, Oct. 3-9, 2018

On Oct. 9, 2018 we received a response to an email message we sent to truthometer@politifact.com. Katie Sanders sent the response. Sanders serves as PolitiFact’s managing editor. Note that Sanders may well have also read a different description of the same issue forwarded through the International Fact-Checking Network. ZEBRA FACT CHECK (Oct. 3, 2-018) The Sept. 20, 2018 PolitiFact Missouri fact…
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Watching the Watchmen: Corrections

Not long after the International Fact-Checking Network committed to policing whether signatories to its code of principles were following that code, we observed that the means the IFCN chose to ensure compliance with its code set a low bar for fact-checking organizations. That bar was especially low for organizations’ policies for “open and honest” corrections: How does one verify scrupulous…
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September 2018 Q&A with Alexios Mantzarlis

Each month we pose a question to International Fact-Checking Network Director Alexios Mantzarlis. Our arrangement permits Mantzarlis to reply to questions at any time as his schedule permits.   ZEBRA FACT CHECK (Sept. 3, 2018) Earlier this year, PolitiFact issued a new statement of principles, including a corrections policy that apparently gives it license to correct all spelling errors without issuing any…
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