Commentary

Fact checker rating systems: Why?

Last month we asked the director of the International Fact-Checking Network, Alexios Mantzarlis, to give the strongest comprehensive case in favor of fact-checking organizations using rating systems. We asked because most fact-checking organizations use some sort of sliding scale rating system. Given the popularity of the practice we felt it was beneficial to encourage the IFCN to publish a rationale…
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Accountability? The International Fact-Checking Network Re-verifies PolitiFact

Does the International Fact-Checking Network effectively confirm that its list of “verified” signatories follows its code of principles? The task makes for a tall order, and we see plenty of reason to doubt. Over the years PolitiFact has impressed us with its ability to ignore well-reasoned criticisms sent to its staff in response to its invitation to find problems with…
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Why Fact Checkers Need a Watchdog

Who fact checks the fact checkers? Since it started publishing occasional fact checks in 2010, Zebra Fact Check has found quite a few significant errors by mainstream media fact checkers. Unfortunately, our criticisms only rarely result in adequate changes in the original mainstream media fact checks. We held out some hope that the International Fact-Checking Network, hosted by the Poynter…
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Zinke, gas prices and PolitiFact

Does some form of Trump Derangement Syndrome make it impossible for mainstream media fact checkers to do their work properly? Consider President Donald Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. And consider PolitiFact. At the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference, Zinke claimed that under the Obama administration consumers paid about $100 to fill the tank with gas. Today, Zinke said, it costs…
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Biased reporters and nonpartisan reporting

On Feb. 2, 2018, the International Fact-Checking Network added the Daily Caller’s fact-checking project, Check Your Fact, to its list of “verified signatories” to its fact-checking code of principles. We’re disappointed at the rush to subscribe to the IFCN’s statement of principles. We find some of the principles arbitrary, and one in particular we find deceptive. The Daily Caller’s effort…
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Media Matters has a point about Poynter Institute’s IFCN

Media Matters For America attacked the International Fact-Checking Network, headquartered at the Poynter Institute, for verifying The Weekly Standard Fact Check. A Dec. 8, 2017 article by Cristina López G. noted the IFCN gave verified status to the conservative Weekly Standard’s fact check effort despite the concerns of an independent assessor. López makes one particularly valid point despite otherwise providing…
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Fact checkers, Medicaid & the individual mandate

How well do fact checkers fact check? Each of the “elite three” mainstream media fact checkers, PolitiFact, the Washington Post Fact Checker and FactCheck.org, has had the opportunity to weigh in on the effects of the GOP’s health care reform proposals. The “Affordable Care Act” passed under the administration of President Barack Obama applies a tax to individuals and families…
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Project Veritas vs. the Washington Post

On Nov. 27, 2017, the Washington Post published a story about a woman who pitched to it a false allegation about Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore. The story associated the woman, identified as Jaime T. Phillips, to James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. Project Veritas uses undercover sting operations to help expose liberal media bias. Who comes out ahead, the Post or…
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Kicked off insurance? Fact-checking the Fact Checker

To what degree do GOP health care reform proposals kick people off health insurance? Is there a Democrat who has failed to repeat the talking point that one or another such bill will kick some millions off their insurance? The claim appears ubiquitous, yet fact checkers like the Washington Post Fact Checker and PolitiFact have pretty much ignored the deceptive…
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