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The Week in Fact-Checking: Get ready for International Fact-Checking Day

There’s an International Day of Yoga and a National Grammar Day, so why not an International Fact-Checking Day? The IFCN is promoting a series of activities for April 2. Find out more here.

ABC Fact Check is back

Last year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation shut down its Fact Check unit after the government halted funding. Before it closed, ABC Fact Check was one of the most notable TV fact-checking efforts worldwide. On Tuesday, ABC News announced the operation would relaunch, thanks to a new partnership with RMIT University.

Fact-checking quote of the week
“Fact checking is difficult. Everyone thinks it’s a matter of yes or no, but it’s not that simple. It’s complex, it requires a lot of nuance – something that computers aren’t good at.” – Full Fact’s Mevan Babakar in The Register’s story, “Humanity’s bulls*** is too much for software” 

Fact-checking image of the week
“Real is beautiful” is a great slogan for a tourism campaign, but it does imply authenticity. So when the Lithuanian tourism agency was caught using photos of other countries to promote Lithuania, social media had a field day. The Prime Minister showed a sense of humor, but the tourism chief resigned.

Fake news on Twitter, quantified
A study by Chinese and American researchers tried to quantify the reach of “rumor tweets” among followers of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. According to the paper, “only about 4% tweets are rumor tweets on Twitter.”

Automation news from the fact-checking trenches
There’s been a lot of fluffy stuff on automated fact-checking. Here’s an article from organizations who are actually working on it.

What do you want? 
We want to be sure you have what you need to study and fight “fake news” and misinformation. Please take our quick survey and let us know what you like, don’t like, and what you want more of. Like GIFs.

This week’s fact-checking tips
If you’re trying to get facts from a FOIA request, MuckRack’s got tips for beginners and cautionary tales for everyone. … For fact-checkers living in or covering India, here are some top data and information resources.

Goodbye to a man of facts
Hans Rosling, Swedish statistician extraordinaire, passed away on Feb. 7. The BBC’s “More or Less” recorded a moving tribute to a relentless advocate of the facts.

The ‘urban myth’ of voter fraud
Forget facts. Claims of massive voter fraud in New Hampshire simply defy logic and common sense. Here’s why.

Fact-checking expands in Sao Paulo
In Brazil, investigative outfit Agência Pública turns its election fact-checking initiative “Truco” into a permanent rubric.

Fact check of the week
Are there more Polish speakers than Irish speakers in Northern Ireland? A good fact check is an excuse to dive deep into what data is available about issues of public interest. And this is a good fact check. See other prominent fact checks this week compiled by the Internet Archive which, ICYMI, is a semi-finalist for the MacArthur Foundation’s $100 million grant.

Global Fact 4 is coming up
The Fourth Global Fact-Checking Summit will be held July 5-7 in Madrid. Here’s where to find out more about the conference.

Some fact-checking fun
Is Barack Obama really good at kite-surfing? Or any other sport? The Washington Free Beacon takes a hard look and throws around some Pinocchios. … “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is running “educational” ads for President Trump. They’re modeled after the ubiquitous medical catheter ads, says The Hill.

But seriously, is anything really funny in fact-checking?
Nope, says the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple. He calls the work of covering official misinformation these days “life-sucking tedium,” and here’s why.

12 quick fact-checking links
(1) Want to terminate fake news? Follow the ad money. (2) A critique of the criticism of Décodex. (3)  Not all fact-checkers are the same. (5) Pagella Politica has a fact-checking newsletter. (6) The Quote Investigator published a book. (7) Africa Check fact-checked the State of the Nation Address. (8) Google expands its Fact Check tag to Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. (9) Is this the first major pop song about fake news and filter bubbles? (10) Librarians are warriors in the fight against fakery. (11) A look at the history and future of Snopes. (12) The optimistic results of an actual debate about fake news.

 

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