PolitiFact's Medicare-For-All Unexplainer

CORRECTION: This article received a significant correction the same day it was published, affecting three paragraphs. Find specific details here. In addition to its “Truth-O-Meter” and “Flip-O-Meter” judgments on political speech, PolitiFact delves fairly often into the “explainer” genre. PolitiFact’s November 2019 “Medicare For All” explainer contained a number of misleading elements while offering its readers a credulous view of…
Read more

Washington Post Fact Checker wrongly dings Gabbard on Russian ‘grooming’

When numerous media outlets produced conflicting reports, op-eds and fact checks on whether Hillary Clinton said the Russians were grooming Democratic Party presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Zebra Fact Check weighed in on the issue. After looking at the whole context of the Clinton interview on David Plouffe’s podcast, we said Clinton had tended to mix statements about Trump campaign…
Read more

‘Lead Stories’ and the hoax that wasn’t

An Oct. 18, 2019 story at National Review said Hillary Clinton claimed the Russians were grooming Democratic Party presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) for a third-party campaign. And the fact checkers at Lead Stories, a fact-checking organization verified by the International Fact-Checking Network called it a hoax. Lead Stories was wrong. But its role as a Facebook fact-checking partner…
Read more

How Science Feedback flunked Fact-Checking 101

Note: See statement of transparency following the article. Science Feedback’s fact check of a pro-life video used poor methods and the IFCN’s review missed it An August 30, 2019 Science Feedback fact check (updated Sept. 3, 2019) ruled “Inaccurate” pro-life advocate Lila Rose’s claim “Abortion is not medically necessary.” Science Feedback’s status as a Facebook fact-checking partner, made possible through…
Read more

Poor Measures of Fact Checker Bias

Zebra Fact Check logo

After Sen. Ted Cruz needled mainstream fact-checker PolitiFact by calling it “a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party,” PolitiFact responded with a hilariously tone-deaf article PolitiSplaining why it was not, in fact, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party. The conservative media criticism site Newsbusters piled on with an article intended to show PolitiFact’s partiality to the political left. But…
Read more

PolitiFact, corrections and accountability

complaint to the international fact-checking network about PolitiFact

We have long criticized PolitiFact for failing to heed reasonable requests for corrections as well as its too-frequent failures to follow its own corrections policies. When the International Fact-Checking Network committed itself to the role of policing signatories to its statement of principles and stated it would accept and review specific complaints about the fact-checking organizations under its umbrella, we…
Read more

Fact Checkers with Two Faces

With the exception of Zebra Fact Check, which features a rating system designed to minimize subjectivity, there are two kinds of fact checkers. The first type follows the model and offers readers fact-checking and explanatory journalism using a traditional media presentation with text, pictures and graphs.. The second type follows the PolitiFact model, expanding on the model by…
Read more

Fact check shenanigans at the Poynter Institute

What message does it send if the Poynter Institute declines to correct mistakes in its reporting on fact-checking? On July 3, 2019 the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute published a review of a Pew Research report on public trust in the media. We flagged an error in Daniela Flamini’s reporting. And with a month having passed, the error…
Read more

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…
Read more