Author Archive: Bryan W. White

Scandal: Fact Checkers Fail at Accountability

complaint to the international fact-checking network about PolitiFact

The International Fact-Checking Network’s Epic Fail on Fact-Checking Accountability It’s a scandal when an accountability organization fails to provide accountability. After years of finding fault with mainstream media fact checkers, especially PolitiFact, it came as welcome news in 2018 that the International Fact-Checking Network would institute a formal system for registering complaints about its stable of fact-checking organizations. A properly…
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Email Outreach to IFCN Director Baybars Orsek, Oct. 6, 2019

After Zebra Fact Check received a message from the International Fact-Checking Network’s outside assessor, Michael Wagner, describing the flawed reasoning he used to dismiss our complaints to the IFCN about PolitiFact, we contacted IFCN Director Baybars Orsek to ask for confirmation that what Wagner sent us was the same reasoning he sent to the IFCN. This email exchange also marks…
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Email Outreach to Neil Brown, Baybars Orsek and the International Fact-Checking Network, Jan. 2, 2020

In January 2020 we renewed our efforts to obtain a reply from the International Fact-Checking Network or the Poynter Institute addressing various problems with the IFCN’s efforts to ensure fact checker accountability. We hoped inquiring after the various holidays might find IFCN or Poynter officials less busy and more likely to respond. We obtained automated replies from Poynter Institute President…
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Email Outreach to Poynter Institute President Neil Brown, Nov. 25, 2019

Following up on a lack of response from the International Fact-Checking Network regarding our inquiries, we phoned the Poynter Institute to try coaxing an official response either from the IFCN or its parent organization. Zebra Fact Check’s phone call was transferred to the office of the Neil Brown, president of the Poynter Institute. We left a phone message and then…
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Email outreach to PolitiFact, March 3, 2020

On March 3, 2020 Zebra Fact Check took note of a number of major errors in a PolitiFact Wisconsin fact check published on Feb. 28, 2020. After trying to bring PolitiFact Wisconsin’s attention to the mistakes on Twitter, we sent a request for major corrections to [email protected] That email message follows in .pdf format. We will update this item if…
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Correction: Substituted duplicate IFCN complaint for a different complaint

In 2019, when we were posting a string of correction requests and formal complaints to PolitiFact and the International Fact-Checking Network, respectively, we posted one complaint about PolitiFact Oregon twice instead of posting about a separate case involving PolitiFact Oregon. We did what we believed was a correction on the complaint to the IFCN, thinking the problem was merely embedding…
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Email outreach regarding IFCN error reporting on Pew Research findings

In July 2019, Zebra Fact Check discovered an error in the International Fact-Checking Network’s coverage of a Pew Research survey. The IFCN-published story falsely said “Almost half of Americans believe that fact checkers are biased, and the majority of those skeptics are Republican.” Pew Research data apparently do not support the latter proposition. Zebra Fact Check received no reply to…
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