Commentary

PolitiFact does a correction–the wrong way

On May 5, 2022 at around 8:00 a.m. EDT, Zebra Fact Check sent a pair of correction requests to PolitiFact. One of the correction requests concerned a false statement PolitiFact included as a subheading. PolitiFact claimed a trailer for a film about the 2020 presidential election, “2000 Mules,” based its case on “cell phone footage.” That claim contradicted the content…
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PolitiFact botches abortion law fact check

On April 7, 2022 PolitiFact published a fact check concerning Colorado’s new abortion law. PolitiFact drew immediate criticism on social media for failing to support its conclusion. Colorado law and late term abortion After a Facebook post said Colorado’s law codifying state abortion rights made abortion legal up until delivery, PolitiFact stepped in to fact check. PolitiFact’s fact check, by…
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PolitiFact’s misleading ‘Truth-O-Meter’ explainer II

In 2021 PolitiFact produced a video explainer about its “Truth-O-Meter” process. We reviewed the video in our article “PolitiFact’s misleading ‘Truth-O-Meter’ explainer” on Oct. 4, 2021. A tweet from PolitiFact’s Louis Jacobson on March 10, 2022 impels us to revisit the subject. Jacobson’s mention of the “chamber” suggested he was talking about the “star chamber” for PolitiFact New York. That…
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PolitiFact’s misleading ‘Truth-O-Meter’ explainer

We saw something funny on PolitiFact’s Facebook page the other day. It was a video purporting to answer questions about PolitiFact’s trademarked “Truth-O-Meter” system for rating the relative truth of political statements. We would count the explanatory video as an unmitigated disaster. Much of PolitiFact’s video deserves critical commentary. We invite readers to watch the embedded video via YouTube before…
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Google search finds IFCN complaints at poynter.org

International Fact-Checking Network revised logo

On or about June 21, 2021, a Google search discovered a complaint we had submitted to the International Fact-Checking Network about PolitiFact. We’ve lobbied the IFCN for years to encourage it to adopt a more open policy with its system of complaints. We’d prefer for the public to have free access to all the complaints the IFCN receives about its…
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Quora, Felix Ling and Media Bias/Fact Check

Zebra Fact Check logo

Somebody at the question-and-answer website Quora asked whether the website “Media Bias/Fact Check” counts as trustworthy. A number of the answers to that question conveyed our view of that site, that the subjectivity of its methodology basically makes it a category error to gauge its trustworthiness. Quoran Felix Ling, on the other hand, considered it a key point that nobody…
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Fake accountability and the International Fact-Checking Network

International Fact-Checking Network revised logo

The International Fact-Checking Network has yet to figure out how to balance its role as a fact-checking advocate with its role in fact-checker accountability. The IFCN peddles the image that it verifies compliance with its Code of Principles. In practice, its accountability measures count as incredibly weak. The IFCN’s 2021 treatment of its Poynter Institute stable mate PolitiFact exemplifies the…
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Fact-checking ‘systemic racism’?

Zebra Fact Check has noticed a tendency among mainstream fact checkers to leave “systemic racism” alone as a fact-checking topic. The so-called “elite three” (FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, Washington Post Fact Checker) all suffer a lack of content on the subject. A Democrat can state that systemic racism exists as a reality in any number of contexts and fact-checkers will ignore it….
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