Fact checking and accountability journalism

Factually: Who should fix the disinformation problem?

Who should be responsible for curbing the spread of disinformation? We might start by looking at who is responsible for spreading it. Those of us who follow this topic closely know there are a number of answers to that question: nefarious foreign actors, irresponsible platforms, zealous partisans, politicians who lie with impunity, people who stand […]

Factually: Stories from Iran are keeping fact-checkers busy

Those who are following the tension between the United States and Iran saw that President Donald Trump and the national security team have offered shifting explanations for the airstrike that killed top Iranian military leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Obviously, U.S.-based fact-checkers have been following this topic very closely, trying to determine whether the Iranian general […]

Factually: Our 2020 Forecast

Happy New Year! With the start of 2020, we’ve been thinking about what the year might bring to the misinformation and fact-checking world. Of course, hoaxers, manipulators and propagandists will come up with new techniques. And we also expect a new intensity of misinformation, especially around the U.S. election. There will still not be enough […]

Factually: Reflecting on fact-checking in 2019

For fact-checkers around the world, 2019 was a big year. In October, the Duke Reporters’ Lab counted more than 200 fact-checking projects around the world. Facebook continued to grow its partnership with such organizations, hosting its first fact-checking summit at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters. And misinformation continued to grow as a global problem. Each year, the IFCN […]

How the press and public can find common purpose

The vast majority of Americans value their right, as well as that of the press, to question authority figures. But only a third have a lot of confidence in their own ability to challenge leaders if needed. This is a key insight that emerges from a new American Press Institute survey conducted in collaboration with […]

Factually: Anti-vaxxers are adopting new tactics

In May, Instagram announced that it would block hashtags that promote “verifiably false” information about vaccines. The move came after similar efforts from other social media platforms to restrict vaccine misinformation. But anti-vaxxers have developed some clever workarounds to Instagram’s restrictions. Coda Story reported Dec. 6 that anti-vaxxers have started using coded hashtags to continue promoting the false belief that vaccines […]

A Sea of Falsehoods

The public today must navigate a news ecosystem contaminated with false information. Some of it is spread without malicious intent, which is generally called misinformation. Some of it is designed to mislead or disrupt, which is known as disinformation. And some is aimed at swaying public opinion or beliefs by distorting the facts, which is […]

Factually: Why ‘facts won’t save us’

Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University, wrote a piece for Columbia Journalism Review saying that disinformation, like environmental pollution, calls for an ecological solution. “Facts won’t save us,” she wrote. Phillips is the author of two books as well as an important paper on disinformation amplification for Data & Society. Now she’s […]

Factually: Why the Tories’ fact-check stunt matters

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery. But not in this case. The move by the U.K. Conservative Party’s press office to make its Twitter account look like a real fact-checking site holds implications for fact-checkers’ credibility and presents social media companies with a new test of how to respond to such ploys. There […]

Factually: Facebook defines ‘politician,’ but will it solve the problem? 

Facebook’s policy of not subjecting politicians’ statements or ads to third-party fact-checking has riled critics in the United States and abroad – including some of the company’s own employees – who say it lets politicians off the hook in an era when the truth is under siege. The reason for the policy, the company says, is that […]