The secret slanders of the International Fact-Checking Network

How the International Fact-Checking Network can act so hypocritically mystifies me.

This organization espousing high ethics and transparency routinely hides what it does and fibs about stuff.

Allow me to describe the example that set me off today.

On Oct. 13, 2023, Zebra Fact Check sent a formal complaint about PolitiFact to the International Fact-Checking Network. PolitiFact had dinged Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida over his pledge to remove “six or seven million” illegal residents allowed into the United States under President Biden.

PolitiFact groundlessly charged DeSantis with conflating two different numbers, border apprehensions and illegal residents, and rated his estimate “Mostly False.” The problem? Apprehensions have been routinely used for years in professional literature as a proxy for illegal entry. That’s because it is thought that multiple apprehensions of the same person and those who elude apprehension roughly even out. PolitiFact also, incredibly, left out the fact that apprehensions do not represent all attempts to cross the border. Their math implied that apprehensions minus duplicates and expulsions equals the true number of illegal entries.

I requested a correction from PolitiFact and, as usual, received no satisfaction for my efforts.

And that brings us to the IFCN.

About 8 hours after I submitted my formal complaint, the IFCN marked it as “Resolved,” crediting the resolution to “Bryan W. White.”

I can say with confidence that Bryan W. White does not consider the problem resolved in any way.

Of course the slander would be worse if the IFCN wasn’t so good at keeping its handling of complaints under wraps. They have a glorious history of not explaining their actions.

Here’s my recently-sent email to the IFCN:

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