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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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Correction request sent to PolitiFact, Feb. 8, 2022

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PolitiFact’s Jan. 28, 2022 fact check of a claim by Fox News’ Sean Hannity mistakenly rated his claim as though it used an “or” conditional instead of an “and” conditional. The resulting conclusion (“False”) flew in the face of logic. We noticed a fair amount of pushback against PolitiFact’s conclusion on Twitter, but after PolitiFact spent days making no move…
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Complaint to the International Fact-Checking Network about PolitiFact, Jan. 21, 2022

complaint to the international fact-checking network about PolitiFact

On Jan. 21, 2022, after PolitiFact declined to act in response to our Jan. 14, 2022 correction request, we sent this formal complaint to the International Fact-Checking Network, noting on the complaint form that PolitiFact’s inaction breached its pledge to “scrupulously” adhere to an open and honest policy on corrections. Updated a few minutes after publication to add the date…
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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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Email outreach to PolitiFact’s Josie Hollingsworth, Sept. 30, 2021

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On Sept. 30, 2021 Zebra Fact Check sent an email inquiry to PolitiFact’s editor of audience engagement, Josie Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth claimed in an explainer video that “Truth-O-Meter” jury members have multiple years working with PolitiFact’s rating system. We found that hard to reconcile with PolitiFact’s past practice of having state franchises provide their own “Truth-O-Meter” juries, with assistance as needed…
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Correction to correction request description

Our description of our correction request published to the website on Sept. 14, 2021 contained errors based on false conclusions we drew about CDC data. Zebra Fact Check sought a correction from Repustar/FactSparrow based on our belief it had failed to distinguish between CDC statistics on new hospital admissions and hospitalizations. In fact, Zebra Fact Check erred its interpretation of…
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Correction request sent to Repustar/FactSparrow (Updated/Corrected)

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Fact checker Repustar, represented on Twitter as “FactSparrow,” published a fact brief that (we believed) confused hospital admissions for coronavirus with coronavirus hospitalizations, though the CDC reports very different statistics for each. After seeing no movement on the issue based on Twitter outreach, Zebra Fact Check emailed Repustar to encourage a correction to the misinformation (we believed we detected). Update…
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