Verification and accuracy

Factually: Why Twitter’s ‘get the facts’ label matters

For the first time, Twitter this week flagged two tweets from the president of the United States. It didn’t choose the tweets that had attracted the most attention in Tuesday morning’s barrage from the White House (those would be the ones about Joe Scarborough). Nor was Twitter’s label particularly bold. “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” read the blue label […]

Factually: Seven angles on a conspiracy theory

How do you cover a conspiracy theory? Journalists who write about misinformation know that the trick is to debunk the falsehoods without amplifying them or generating any suggestion of legitimacy. Context is critical, as is an exploration of potential harms for believers. The pseudoscience-ridden, conspiracy-driven “Plandemic” video, which contains a number of baseless theories about […]

Factually: Tools for a shifting debate

While governments say they are relying on science to keep the public safe, they are also watching sales and income taxes plummet and groups of protesters demand more freedom. This week we’ve seen examples of how governments are trying to balance those competing pressures. President Donald Trump announced in a tweet Wednesday that the White House Coronavirus […]

Factually: Truth-tellers in white coats

When Brad Pitt played Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, the “doctor” promised that as long as he isn’t fired, he would “be out there puttin’ out the facts for whoever’s listening.” The parody contained a biting truth: These days medical professionals are often default fact-checkers to politicians. Fauci is in a class […]

Factually: Here are some harmful COVID-19 hoaxes

Desperate for protection against COVID-19, some people are acting on dangerous misinformation they’ve found online. Fact-checkers need help sharing the articles that debunk the most life-threatening hoaxes. And all authorities should get involved too. In Tunisia and other Arabic-speaking countries, and in North Macedonia and Greece, the dangerous idea of gargling with Betadine — a topical antiseptic […]

How Documented uses WhatsApp to reach local immigrant communities

As the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted daily life in the U.S. and around the world, many news organizations have turned to texting services to reach their communities with critical news and information. Platforms like Reach, GroundSource and Subtext have helped news outlets learn about audiences’ information needs and address them directly via SMS. Some news […]

Factually: Spain’s fact-checkers become a target

Sometimes it feels like the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished” was invented with fact-checkers in mind. This week, it applies to the ones in Spain. Not long after WhatsApp decided to limit message-forwarding in an effort to stem the spread of misinformation, supporters of Spain’s right-wing Vox party started a campaign of digital harassment […]

Factually: A game called ‘Truth or Dare the Platform’

Last fall, then-presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren ran an ad on Facebook falsely claiming that the tech giant’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had endorsed President Donald Trump for re-election. It was an obvious stunt. Anyone paying attention knew Zuckerberg hadn’t endorsed Trump. Warren, a fierce critic of Facebook, wanted to call attention to the […]

Factually: A day to recognize fact-checkers

Today, on this fourth annual International Fact-Checking Day, it’s time to celebrate those who work hard to bring you reliable information and, therefore, they help you make better decisions. On this day, we recognize that fact-checking is indispensable for journalism and for every citizen. It’s also time to pressure the powerful and demand transparency in public […]

Factually: The power of rumors in a fast-moving crisis

Once President Donald Trump declared on Friday that he would use a federal law known as the Stafford Act as the basis for an emergency declaration to assist states with their coronavirus response, it wasn’t long before misinformation started circulating on social media and in text messages. The law essentially allows federal resources to flow to […]