Author Archive: Bryan W. White
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…
After PolitiFact made a false claim in its Oct. 7, 2020 article on the Pence-Harris vice presidential debate, Zebra Fact Check sent PolitiFact a correction request.
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…
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…
After garnering no reply to our outreach attempt on Aug. 28, 2020, Zebra Fact Check sent a follow-up email asking the same questions but with an updated subject header.
The complaint Zebra Fact Check submitted to the International Fact-Checking Network regarding the Washington Post Fact Checker failed to receive any mention at all in the IFCN’s 2020 assessment of the Fact Checker. Zebra Fact Check reached out to the IFCN to ask for an explanation.
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…
After failing to obtain comment from two earlier inquiries to the Poynter Institute, Zebra Fact Check reached out to Poynter’s editor Ren LaForme. LaForme holds the post occupied by Julie Moos when Poynter dealt with a controversy in 2011 over Jim Romenesko’s method of attribution.
Zebra Fact Check emailed the Poynter Institute on July 6, 2020 as part of a continued effort to obtain comment about an unclear attribution in the “Factually” newsletter Poynter publishes jointly with the American Press Institute.
Zebra Fact Check emailed Senior Vice President and Chair of Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute to ask about an attribution problem with the “Factually” newsletter.