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The Week in Fact-Checking: You’re invited to a fact-checking party

Four U.S. news organizations are asking their audiences to help them report and fact-check what Congress is saying about the Affordable Care Act. Here’s what ProPublica, Kaiser Health News, State and Vox are doing.

Quote of the week
“No one should be faced with the choice between blind faith and blind cynicism.” — The fact-checkers at Full Fact, advocating for greater transparency.

Fact-checking crowd sizes for dummies

Donald Trump is neither the first nor the last politician to mislead the public about his crowd’s size. Silvio Berlusconi was claiming more than 10 years ago that 2 million people attended one of his Roman rallies. (The square in question can’t even fit half that number). This month, it was French presidential candidate François Fillon’s turn. We spoke to the creator of MapChecking.com and to a crowd size expert about how best to measure large crowds in public spaces.

Overworked fact-checkers
Fact-checking keeping you up late? You are not alone. (Cartoon by Thibaut Soulcié for Télérama)

Fines for fakers
Germany’s Justice Minister is proposing a law that would fine social networks up to 50 million euros if they do not promptly eliminate defamatory content, hate speech or fake news.

Keep it simple, media
“A less complex media landscape” is one reason Dutch elections haven’t been affected by fake news, a European researcher says.

5 fake stories that won’t go away
Here’s an interesting exercise for you, your students or your kids to try. Search each of these false reports on Facebook and see which is more prevalent: People who share the story or people who debunk the story? (Spoiler alert: We are disappointed in you, Facebookers.)

No matter what you call it
False news, biased news, badly reported news. Those words describe “fake news” more accurately and more purposefully than “fake news” does, Jessi Hempel writes on Backchannel.

What’s your big idea?
You have just a few weeks to submit your big idea to help stop the flow of misinformation. The Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund and the Rita Allen Foundation will offer $1 million in grants to promising proposals to U.S.-based organizations.

Fact-checking vs. verification
Straight from a presentation to journalism students, here’s a Venn diagram on the relationship between fact-checking and verification.

Fake news absurdity
On RT, check out this bizarre debate featuring fake news impresario Paul Horner. Speaking of RT, they launched “Fake Check” this week. “The fact-checking is only going one way,” a channel spokesperson told BuzzFeed, providing no evidence.

Fact-checking fun
Are you ready for Fake News, The Musical? The writers at Reason have already imagined it; see the video here.

Fact-checking Hollywood
Is “Rat Film” real or not? Or does it matter? Says a co-founder of the Truth/False Film Fest: “The uncomfortable question of modern documentaries is this dark flip side of what we call the ‘muddy truth.’” Read more in the L.A. Times.

12 quick fact-checking links
(1) A library looks at the history of fake news. (2) Zuckerberg: Facebook hates fake news too. (3) The misinformation battle goes to high school.  (4) Fact-checkers win the Walter Cronkite award.  (5) A North Carolina official alters headlines on his Facebook page.  (6) “Where fake news goes to die”  tells the story of Snopes.  (7) Jake Tapper’s son knows how to get on his last nerve. (8) Enroll in Craig Silverman’s latest seminar on verification. (9) International Fact-Checking Day is coming up. Check out factcheckingday.com on Monday, March 20, for more information. (10) A five-minute cure for diabetes? Nope. (11) A look at PolitiFact’s state affiliates. (12) Misuse of the term “fake news” expands to Ireland.

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