Fact-checking and accountability journalism project

The American Press Institute’s Accountability Journalism and Fact-Checking Project aims to increase and improve fact-checking and other accountability journalism practices.

FCP_blackThe project, which began as a grant-funded initiative, supports research to improve political fact-checking, and works with news organizations to significantly increase and improve accountability journalism practices as well as contribute to public debates on the topic.

You can follow the work of the project here, and get top advice from experts on our Better News fact-checking resource page. Sign up for the weekly newsletter or enroll in our free online course. For more information or to be involved, contact Susan Benkelman, director of the program, at susan.benkelman@pressinstitute.org.

Factually: Russia’s video play

The New York Times last week published a striking piece about how the Russian news network RT has been airing story after story about the dangers of 5G cell phones as part of a disinformation effort to undermine the United States’ comfort with — and advances in — the technology (which scientists say isn’t actually harmful). We say […]

Factually: Twitter goes after anti-vaxxers

Twitter is trying a new tactic to head off misinformation about vaccines. This week, several media outlets reported on how the social media platform had started surfacing factual information about vaccines in search. As of last Friday, if a user searches for vaccine information in the United States, the top result will be a tweet from the Department of Health and Human […]

Factually: Checking Trump in 2020

We are now 18 months from the United States presidential election, but the challenges facing reporters and fact-checkers assigned to cover Donald Trump’s re-election bid are already clear. Some of them are challenges journalists have faced before, but taken together they add up to an escalation that illustrates how hard it will be to ensure […]

Fact-checking ephemeral content

This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg elaborated on what he calls the company’s “living room” strategy, the idea that the platform’s user experience could soon be more private, more closed and more “ephemeral” — posts that disappear after a certain amount of time. The move toward ephemerality has been building since Snapchat started the disappearing […]

Can social media shutdowns work?

When news broke that six sites, including churches, hotels and housing complexes, had been bombed on Easter Sunday, the Sri Lankan government acted swiftly. Following the terrorist attacks, which had killed more than 300 people as of this publication, government officials blocked several social media sites in an attempt to stop the potential spread of misinformation. The New […]

Factually: Lessons from fact-checking the Notre Dame fire

By now, most people who operate in the world of misinformation are well aware of the conspiracy theories associated with the fire at Paris’ Cathedral of Notre Dame this week. The hoaxes came swiftly and unabashedly: assertions the fire was deliberately started, that there were chants of “Allahu Akbar” outside the church and that a […]

Factually: Facebook plays election whack-a-mole

Facebook tackles election misinformation This month, elections kick off in at least five countries around the world. As a result, Facebook and other tech platforms have been doing some last-minute preparation to try to protect their platforms from misinformation. In India, where voters have been stricken with misinformation in the lead-up to the start of the general […]

Factually: Misinformation is inciting violence around the world. And the platforms don’t know how to stop it.

More misinformation-related attacks This week, France became the latest country to be stricken with misinformation-related violence. On Monday, French police arrested 20 people accused of attacking Roma people in the suburbs of Paris. In one attack, about 50 people armed with sticks and knives attacked Roma living in a slum and set fire to their cars. […]

Factually: The Census could be next target for fakery

Can tech companies help fight U.S. Census misinformation? The U.S. election isn’t the only 2020 event threatened to be disrupted by misinformation. Reuters reported Wednesday that the U.S. Census Bureau has asked Google, Facebook and Twitter to “help it fend off fake news campaigns it fears could disrupt the upcoming 2020 count,” citing Census officials and others […]

Factually: A new fact-checking project in Europe

Fact-checkers gear up for elections in Europe   A big development in fact-checking this week came in Europe, where 19 news organizations are collaborating on a project called FactCheckEU. They’ll fact-check politicians’ rhetoric and misinformation ahead of the May parliamentary elections. (Full disclosure: The platform is being helped with an innovation grant from the IFCN, and the participants […]