Facts — and fact-checking —can be sterile, dry and a bit academic. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But are there more effective ways to present facts and controversial issues, and to reach fact-resistant audiences? Yes, says a new American Press Institute report; and it means more listening, fewer words and even a little psychology. See the stories and platforms that have done just that.
Quote of the week
“Each of us is on a spectrum somewhere between the poles of rational and irrational. We all have hunches we can’t prove and superstitions that make no sense. …What’s problematic is going overboard—letting the subjective entirely override the objective; thinking and acting as if opinions and feelings are just as true as facts.” — Kurt Andersen in The Atlantic
Bot or Not?
President Trump thanked Twitter user “Nicole” for her supportive tweet on Saturday. “Then all hell broke loose,” says BuzzFeed. The account wasn’t a bot, but she wasn’t who she claimed she was, either.
Viral poster, fact-checked
Full Fact fact-checked an image laden with claims about Muslims in the United Kingdom. And on social media, they fought the incorrect image with a corrected one.
Mozilla enters the misinformation-fighting fray
The Mozilla Information Trust Initiative wants to “help the open web to become a more powerful source of credible information,” according to the CIO of the nonprofit organization behind Firefox. Plans include work on products, research and digital literacy.
Use ClaimReview, highlight your fact checks
Google has been highlighting fact checks in search for a few months now — but it needs to recognize content as fact-checking to do so. If your fact-checking organization isn’t using ClaimReview yet, learn how to with this free Poynter webinar.
The Conversation testifies
The Conversation AU explained this week to the Parliament of Australia what good public service journalism — like fact-checking — should include.
There’s a new “Fake News” streetwear line with a rather convoluted explanation about why this is a good thing.
Arbitrating the truth, after all?
From the Jakarta Post: Facebook has informed Indonesian government officials that a Facebook team will “monitor the spread of hoaxes and block accounts suspected of spreading fake news” ahead of the 2019 elections.
FactCheck.org’s transparent funding page means we now know how much Facebook pays fact-checking partners. But Correctiv in Germany says they’re still not accepting Facebook payments. Some fake news stories are still doing very well. Related: There was more to last week’s Facebook fake news announcement than met the eye.
When ‘real news’ really means propaganda
When “Trump TV” debuted its “real news” show on Facebook this week, fact-checkers swooped in and found a lot of fakery. As Vox points out, “to many observers, this is indistinguishable from state propaganda.”
Tips and tools for back to school
For those of you preparing syllabi and training sessions: Check out “fake news” classroom strategies from Notre Dame; and see Oklahoma State’s tips for explaining to kids why sharing misinformation is a bad thing.
Automated fact-checking will be for journalists first
The Guardian takes a peek at the automated fact-checking tools being developed by Full Fact. Digital Product Manager Mevan Babakar explains why these will be for journalists first: “If we go straight to the public it will pit us against people wanting quick answers who won’t be satisfied because we can’t always make the answers small.”
Twenty years of “The View,” 20 years of crazy rumors. E! Online checks some facts and fake news surrounding the popular daytime talk show. (One result: Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell never had a fist fight.)
10 quick fact-checking links
(1) Are you or have you been a fact-checker? Take this survey for a researcher in Melbourne. (2) The TV News Archive’s new “special collections” includes clips and fact checks of U.S. congressional leadership and Trump administration officials. (3) This is why Facebook doesn’t say “fake news” anymore. (4) What can you learn from developing “fake news” games? (5) Here’s the fakest fake news in Phoenix. (6) Positive News profiles the international fact-checking movement. (7) Trend: Fact-checking organizations are opening up to WhatsApp. (8) The latest on the Snopes saga: Good news for founder David Mikkelson. (9) Take a deep dive into the hyperpartisan news universe. (10) The Rouhani Meter launches an update for the Iranian President’s second term.