Tag Archive: International Fact-Checking Network

Transparency statement from IFCN lacks transparency

International Fact-Checking Network revised logo

The IFCN’s 2020 transparency statement about its “Code of Principles” enforcement strangely lacks transparency. The IFCN does a particularly bad job of explaining how it handles complaints about its signatory organizations. The IFCN first allowed the public to lodge complaints about its signatory fact-checking organizations in 2018. Little fanfare accompanied the move, continuing through 2019. But apparently word got out…
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Another International Fact-Checking Network failure on accountability

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…
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Notes on the International Fact-Checking Network’s upcoming annual review of PolitiFact

Zebra Fact Check documented the International Fact-Checking Network’s 2019 failure to hold its stable of “verified” fact-checking organizations to account. PolitiFact, which shares ownership with the IFCN, was notable in escaping scrutiny. The IFCN has yet to explain those failures, but coincidentally or otherwise it revised its Code of Principles in December 2019 along with its methods for verifying compliance…
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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…
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PolitiFact Gives Zebra Fact Check the Brush-off

The Brush-off On Oct. 3, 2018 Zebra Fact Check contacted PolitiFact to point out the need for a correction to a PolitiFact Missouri fact check from Sept. 20, 2018. Our message explained the correction was necessary because PolitiFact Missouri had rated “Mostly False” a claim PolitiFact had stated as true in 2013. PolitiFact gave Zebra Fact Check the brush-off. PolitiFact…
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Watching the Watchmen: Corrections

Not long after the International Fact-Checking Network committed to policing whether signatories to its code of principles were following that code, we observed that the means the IFCN chose to ensure compliance with its code set a low bar for fact-checking organizations. That bar was especially low for organizations’ policies for “open and honest” corrections: How does one verify scrupulous…
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Email exchange with reporter Daniel Funke of the International Fact-Checking Network

This is a formatted version of an email exchange taking place between Aug. 13, 2018 and Sept. 5, 2018. We have condensed the conversation to focus on the topic, omitting pleasantries and material not clearly offered “on the record.”   ZEBRA FACT CHECK (Aug. 13, 2018) Your August 10, 2018 article on the PolitiFact language inventory study misleads in ways…
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When Fact Checkers Can’t See Error

Zebra Fact Check logo

Two examples from the past several weeks help solidify our impression that the new journalistic genre of “fact-checking” needs a basic upgrade. In both examples, key principals in the fact-checking industry could not see an error staring them in the face.   PolitiFact, Louis Jacobson On Sept. 12, 2018 PolitiFact published a fact check of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough through…
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May 2018 Q&A with Alexios Mantzarlis

ZEBRA FACT CHECK From the start, the rating systems for PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker have drawn criticism over their inherent subjectivity. At the same time, such systems draw some strong support from members of the fact-checking community (a Duke Reporters Lab article from 2016 estimates a majority of fact-checking organizations use such rating systems).  PolitiFact’s founder, Bill Adair, reportedly participated…
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