The Week in Fact-Checking: Zika rumors and other reasons ‘fake news’ is bad for your health

When it comes to Zika, rumors could fare better than real news on social media —making disease prevention efforts more difficult.

That’s according to a study from Alexios and four other researchers, which looks at the engagement of verified stories vs. popular rumors about the virus. Drawing upon audience statistics from BuzzSumo, the authors found that hoaxes regularly got more Facebook engagements than real news.

Read the study in full here.

Now for more news from the world of accountability and fact-checking journalism:

This is how we do it

This is bad

This is fun

  • Could an “Oceans 8” heist really happen? HuffPo fact-checks “the most glamorous con job in cinematic history.”
  • These scientists help make sure that sci-fi has a healthy dose of science over fiction.
  • The people need to know: CNN fact-checks the Canadian prime minister’s eyebrows.

A closer look

  • How do people define “fake news” and why is that important? The American Press Institute asked that question in a major study released this week.
  • Facebook clarified the purpose of its new “news credibility specialist” positions.
  • Fake news can harm children and their self-esteem, according to a new parliamentary report — and kids with poor literacy skills are affected more.
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Coming up

If you read one more thing

Credibility scores might not be the panacea some might hope for. Here’s why.

10 quick fact-checking links

  1. French fact-checking projects in public media have teamed up to publish their work on a shared platform.
  2. Happy 2nd birthday to the Duke Reporters’ Lab’s Share the Facts!
  3. This currently unpublished study found that U.S. presidential candidates are less likely to repeat claims that were fact-checked as false.
  4. The Wall Street Journal published an opinion article that chastised fact-checking sites like Snopes.
  5. Using blockchain technology and user feedback, the “Trusted News”browser extension is designed to help readers spot fake news.
  6. The Lenfest Institute writes about Verificado 2018, a group fact-checking effort for the upcoming Mexican elections.
  7. Does this new television program accurately portray journalism? USA Today fact checks.
  8. To overcome your fear of public speaking, here’s Bustle’s tip: Fact check.
  9. UNESCO publishes a book, “Journalism, ‘Fake News’ and Misinformation.”
  10. The latest fact check from the American Bar Association: Is it accurate to say “The president is not above the law”?
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