Factually Newsletter

Factually: New terms for online deceptive practices

New terms for the misinformation trade The language surrounding misinformation seems to change as fast as the tactics used by the people who spread it. Terms that once meant one thing — “fake news,” for example — now mean something else, or are used so differently by different people that they have lost a common meaning. For […]

Factually: Three questions about a Pentagon anti-disinformation project

Last month, we asked who was going to lead the U.S. government’s war on disinformation. Now, an effort in one obscure corner of the federal bureaucracy appears to be taking shape. At the end of August, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an arm of the Department of Defense, announced that it was working on a project to […]

Factually: Checking news as it breaks

It’s now a given in today’s information environment that major natural disasters, acts of violence or other big news events will spawn a flood of misinformation. It’s spread by nefarious actors seeking to sow chaos as well as those who just don’t know better and are looking to amplify their agendas at a time when […]

Factually: Can warnings from fact-checkers reduce sharing?

The misinformation expert Claire Wardle, writing in the current issue of Scientific American, poses (then expertly answers) a key question for people concerned about the current state of the online information ecosystem: Why do people share misinformation, conspiracies and other kinds of misleading content on social media? (The article is part of a larger package dedicated to “Truth, […]

Factually: 2 regions, 1 misinformation problem

As Kashmir ends its 11th day on a strict lockdown in which India has imposed a communications blackout, misinformation has taken off in the region. Fact-checkers for the Agence France-Presse in Southeast Asia have debunked several false and misleading claims about the lockdown, which was imposed Aug. 4 after New Delhi moved to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy. The […]

Factually: The things we learned about misinformation after recent mass shootings

At least 31 people died in two separate mass shootings in the U.S. over the weekend And misinformation wasn’t far behind. In the hours after the attacks in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and a Dayton, Ohio, entertainment district, hoaxes about the gunmen, other shootings and even prescription drug use proliferated on social media. BuzzFeed News’ Jane Lytvynenko started […]

The disinformation problem is widening — just in time for 2020

When former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Intelligence Committee last week about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, some saw his comments about Moscow’s ongoing meddling attempts as the most important statement of the day. “It wasn’t a single attempt,” he said when asked about the spread […]

Factually: Teaching fact-checking in Bolivia

One of the greatest strengths of the fact-checking community is its commitment to collaboration and knowledge-sharing across borders. Such was the case last week when Miriam Valverde, a fact-checker covering immigration for (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact (and Daniel’s colleague), traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, to teach fact-checking skills to journalists. Organized by the nonprofit Fundación para el […]

Factually: Games to teach media literacy

In this newsletter, we spend a lot of time highlighting how misinformation is a global problem. To that end, fact-checkers and others are trying to promote more media literacy worldwide — and some of those efforts are quite fun. In the past few years, several games aimed at teaching people fact-checking skills and how to spot […]

Factually: Politicians co-opt fact-checking

Fact-checkers are used to spin from politicians. But now, some politicians around the world have started to mimic fact-checkers’ work to score points with voters. On Tuesday, the IFCN’s Cristina Tardáguila published a story about how the government of Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has created its own fact-checking operation. Launched by Notimex, a daily newswire service […]