The Week in Fact-Checking: The truth about fact-checkers’ disagreements
A preliminary study comparing the consistency of ratings by PolitiFact and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker had a promising approach but a misleading conclusion. The key finding, that “14 out of 70 statements (20 percent) received two completely opposite ratings from the fact-checkers” led to a smattering of snarky — and unsubstantiated — headlines. Read the report on Poynter.
Quote of the week
“Lying, it turns out, is something that most of us are very adept at. We lie with ease, in ways big and small, to strangers, co-workers, friends, and loved ones. Our capacity for dishonesty is as fundamental to us as our need to trust others, which ironically makes us terrible at detecting lies.” — Yudhijit Bhattacharjee in National Geographic<
Cool fact-checking viz
On Costa Rica’s La Nación, a neat fact-checking sidebar evaluated the President’s message to the nation.
The Facebook roundup
Facebook doesn’t plan to be caught off-guard again in future elections, Craig Silverman writes. … But French publishers are frustrated with Facebook’s attempts to help verify posts.
Africa Check’s Peter Cunliffe-Jones writes about teaching kids in Uganda to develop critical thinking and how to spot fake cures. Students who had gone through the course were twice as likely to identify false claims as those who didn’t.
Don’t fact-check mom
Jeremy of “Zits” does some questionable fact-checking. P.S. You can order prints.
Inside the UK’s ‘fake news war room’
The Guardian takes a look behind the scenes as fact-checkers, economists and statisticians try to prevent misinformation from going viral in the UK general election.
Fact-checking a tragedy
Sadly, blatantly false social media posts often follow on the heels of tragic breaking news. BuzzFeed and Slate track some of the misinformation following the terrorist attack in Manchester. Also: Italian newspapers mistook a Canadian model for the sister of the Manchester attacker.
Fact-checking a conspiracy
The murder of a young Democratic National Committee staffer became a story that conservative conspiracy theorists love to share. The Washington Post examines that story’s life span while FactCheck.org critiques former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s role in its dissemination. And Fox News retracts its story but vows to “continue to investigate.”
Updates left and right
Climate Feedback scored two corrections in relatively quick succession. First, the Daily Wire updated the most inaccurate parts of an article downplaying climate change, then Think Progress removed references to a “runaway feedback” that thawing permafrost was alleged to have.
Reporters on the science fact-checking beat had to deal with fake news even before there was a name for it. On June 16 at Poynter, the SciFacts workshop will look at the best ways to navigate false claims, misleading press releases and dubious findings.
A factual look at the future
Usually, fact-checking a prediction is a pointless exercise. But the Conversation puts some math behind a viral claim about how an increase in young voters would affect the outcome of the British elections.
Remember Martin Shkreli, the guy who raised the price of his company’s life-saving drugs so high that some lives could no longer afford to be saved? He not only has his securities fraud trial coming up, he’s the subject of a new Broadway musical called “Pharma-Bro.” The Financial Times fact-checks it out.
Some fact-checking fun
Everyone’s got a guide to identifying fake news these days, including late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel. One of his tips: “Anything Wolf Blitzer says is fake news.” And don’t miss his “Schoolhouse Rock” parody video.
12 quick fact-checking links
(1) Summer beach reading: three — yes, three — new books about post-truth. (2) An editor tells readers that mistakes in his newspaper are due to “long hours and a short staff.” (3) Wikipedia’s founder says the Daily Mail has mastered one thing: “running stories that aren’t true.” (4) Fake newsies don’t care about the partisan divide. (5) Global Fact 4 is coming. Registrations are closed, but here’s the provisional agenda and participants list. (6) The South African minister of communications says “fake news is a symptom of a much larger malaise.” (7) Try this “Factitious” game with your readers and students. (8) Most people don’t think “the media” are accurate — unless it’s “the media” they personally use. Read API’s report on “my media vs. the media.” (9) Is Scottsdale, Ariz., a hub for fake news sites? (10) For Africa Day, Africa Check gives factual answers to the five most Googled search questions on the continent. (11) Is this Italy’s Comet Ping Pong? (12) In a TedX talk, Lupa’s director calls for an “army of fact-checkers.”
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