Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

The Week in Fact-Checking: Are Twitter ‘facts’ making us dumb?

The popular Twitter accounts @UberFacts and @OMGFacts show 13.3 million and nearly 7 million followers, respectively. Yet by encouraging a vision of “facts” as trivial soundbites and not a part of a richer context, these accounts dumb down our understanding of reality. Read the full article on Poynter.

Fact-checking in the U.S.

Quote of the week
“Through social media, talk radio and certain television broadcasts you start seeing wild claims taken as truth…and it circulates through the internet in ways that are immune to fact-checking. [I]f folks have been accustomed to hearing those kinds of wild claims, then they start believing it, and it creates a tinderbox.” — President Barack Obama in an interview with ABC News.

Fact-checking the 2016 elections
The four-person “K-file” team at BuzzFeed — yes, BuzzFeed, deal with it — is causing politicians some angst and often beating legacy media to the truth. The political research team’s mission is to check claims by candidates and determine whether historical records support those claims. Read the NPR story.

A group of European researchers studied the spread of false information in social media and found “the prevalent tendency for users is to support every unverified rumour.” Yay, humans. Read it.

Fact-checking around the world

Fact checks of the week on terrorist attacks in Turkey & Belgium
In a pattern now sadly familiar, terrorist acts in Ankara, Istanbul and Brussels were followed by hoaxes spreading widely on media both social and traditional. First Draft News shared 10 debunked rumors from Turkey, and Libération one from Brussels.

Fact-checking infographic of the week
Fact-checking may be dead to some — but at least at NPR, the audience still ranks it highly. Read the Duke Reporters’ Lab report.

Quick fact-checking news
(1) Full Fact is inviting its readers to ask questions on the EU referendum through aReddit-style section of its site. (2) The British fact-checkers are also hiring a fact-checker and a media officer. (3) The dates of Latam Chequea, the main gathering of Latin American fact-checkers, have been announced. (4) PolitiFact needs your support to unlock $15,000 in matching funds to hire a fact-checker concentrating on immigration.

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