Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

The Week in Fact-Checking: Authoritarians, ‘morons’ and ‘household surveys’

Fact-checking is always hard. In some countries, though, it’s potentially dangerous: Journalists not only risk losing their right to publish, they may risk imprisonment. So how are fact-checkers covering politics in authoritarian countries? Writing for Poynter, Daniel Funke examines veteran projects in Iran, Turkey and Zimbabwe – and the prospects for fact-checking in even more restrictive countries like China and Russia.

Research you can use

  • A Berkeley professor who studies how political information spreads across Twitter recently became a victim of political information that spread across Twitter.
  • In “How Science Created Morons,” WBEZ looks at the “terrible consequences” of research that is really, really wrong.
  • What’s your favorite fake news? A University of Zurich scholar — whostudied fake news in the U.S., U.K., Austria and Germany — says it all depends where you live.

This is how we do it

This is bad

This is fun

  • A viral post about Coachella was actually written by a 28-year-old man — not a woman named Kaycie Allen.
  • Fact-checking Hollywood: The Verge looks at the Netflix documentary “Mercury 13.”
  • Keep your fake news radar up-to-date: Try the latest fake news quiz from this Utah radio station.

A closer look

If you read one more thing

So about that credibility score Elon Musk suggested on Twitter… Alexios wrote a measured examination of four important questions it raises.

Quick fact-checking links

  1. Papua New Guinea is threatening to block Facebook for a month while it weeds out fake users and studies the effects of misinformation.
  2. This review of Showtime’s new “Fourth Estate” says the series is an antidote to misinformation.
  3. A Trump cabinet member says she’s never heard the president mangle the truth and suggests the media “are blowing things out of proportion.”
  4. Does Facebook really care about fake news in India? Nope, says HuffPost.
  5. The Crime Report from John Jay College’s criminal justice program is doing some fact-checking. This week they tackle the “missing” migrant children story.
  6. Here’s a contender for correction of the week.
  7. Who’s a good fact-checker? He’s a good fact-checker!
  8. Daniel Dale, the Toronto reporter covering President Trump, explains how The Star decides when to use the word “lie.”
  9. Harvard’s Shorenstein Center is hiring six research assistants to head up its new Information Disorder Lab.
  10. Dear Fam: Please stop spreading fake news on WhatsApp.
  11. Fast Company has an interview with the author of the Encyclopedia of Misinformation.
  12. Who can fix Facebook? You can.
  13. The New York Times has some lessons about ex-post fact-checking a story about a former member of the Islamic State.
  14. Agence France-Presse’s fact-checking outfit expanded to Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, growing Facebook’s fact-checking program there in the process.

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