Verification and accuracy

Factually: Fact-checking the impeachment

It’s only been a little more than two weeks since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. But for fact-checkers, it feels like a lifetime. Since the announcement of the inquiry, which focuses on a phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, misinformation has come from all sides. Online, […]

Factually: Sorting fact from opinion in the impeachment debate

When U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday to talk about a whistleblower’s report that touched off the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, host Margaret Brennan challenged the senator on his assertion that the complaint was based on “hearsay.” Much of what was in the complaint, she said, was backed […]

Factually: How misinformation makes money

There has been much written about how fake news websites and other sources make money from spreading misinformation. During the 2016 election in the United States, it even became a cottage industry. Now a new study quantifies just how much misinformers are profiting from online advertising. Spoiler: It’s a lot. On Monday, the nonprofit Global Disinformation […]

Factually: Why are people not more outraged about disinformation?

Greetings from Washington, where the problem of disinformation is generating heightened alarm on the part of U.S. politicians and policy experts as the 2020 campaign approaches. The question is whether and how that alarm could translate into action by Congress or the agencies to prevent a repeat of the Russian disinformation campaign that affected the […]

Factually: New terms for online deceptive practices

New terms for the misinformation trade The language surrounding misinformation seems to change as fast as the tactics used by the people who spread it. Terms that once meant one thing — “fake news,” for example — now mean something else, or are used so differently by different people that they have lost a common meaning. For […]

Factually: Three questions about a Pentagon anti-disinformation project

Last month, we asked who was going to lead the U.S. government’s war on disinformation. Now, an effort in one obscure corner of the federal bureaucracy appears to be taking shape. At the end of August, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an arm of the Department of Defense, announced that it was working on a project to […]

Factually: Checking news as it breaks

It’s now a given in today’s information environment that major natural disasters, acts of violence or other big news events will spawn a flood of misinformation. It’s spread by nefarious actors seeking to sow chaos as well as those who just don’t know better and are looking to amplify their agendas at a time when […]

Factually: Can warnings from fact-checkers reduce sharing?

The misinformation expert Claire Wardle, writing in the current issue of Scientific American, poses (then expertly answers) a key question for people concerned about the current state of the online information ecosystem: Why do people share misinformation, conspiracies and other kinds of misleading content on social media? (The article is part of a larger package dedicated to “Truth, […]

Factually: 2 regions, 1 misinformation problem

As Kashmir ends its 11th day on a strict lockdown in which India has imposed a communications blackout, misinformation has taken off in the region. Fact-checkers for the Agence France-Presse in Southeast Asia have debunked several false and misleading claims about the lockdown, which was imposed Aug. 4 after New Delhi moved to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy. The […]

Factually: The things we learned about misinformation after recent mass shootings

At least 31 people died in two separate mass shootings in the U.S. over the weekend And misinformation wasn’t far behind. In the hours after the attacks in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and a Dayton, Ohio, entertainment district, hoaxes about the gunmen, other shootings and even prescription drug use proliferated on social media. BuzzFeed News’ Jane Lytvynenko started […]