Misinformation has become a part of many people’s daily life. Because of this, it has become more important than ever to be able to separate fact from fiction. However, doing extensive research to check whether everything you hear or see is true can be exhausting, and can take a lot of time and resources for each story. That is where using trusted, non-partisan fact-checkers can be extremely helpful. Factcheck.org  is one of the three most trusted fact-checking organizations on the internet, alongside Snopes.com and Politifact.org. 

 

Factcheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, a branch of the University of Pennsylvania. They are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to educate voters, and focus primarily on U.S. politics because of this. Their “Ask Factcheck” section fact checks stories sent in by readers, who often see misleading content on social media. In fact, Factcheck.org is one of the organizations that have partnered with Facebook to help flag and identify false news being circulated on the platform. Factcheck.com has a “Facebook Initiative” section on their website that is specifically dedicated to fake news stories being circulated on social media. 

 

They also have several other useful fact-checking sections on their website. Some of these sections change based on the time of year or if there is a major ongoing event that needs fact-checking, such as for the COVID19 pandemic. One of their permanent sections is the “SciCheck” section where they fact check science claims often made by partisan organizations in order to advance political agendas. The “Party Lines” section looks at common misleading talking points of major political parties in the U.S., making it an incredibly useful tool during election season. There is also a “Trump Transcripts” section that has annotated fact-checked versions of the President’s speeches; Factcheck.org will fact check nearly every major statement of whoever the current U.S. president is, no matter who is in power. They also fact check every State of the Union address, and these fact-checking articles can be found going back to 2015 on their “State of the Union” page. 

For each claim that they fact check, Factcheck.org writes a short article telling whether the investigated claim is true or false or somewhere in between. In the article, they explain what exactly is being fact-checked and what exactly is true or false about it, and why. Factcheck.org cites the evidence they use to prove or debunk claims so that readers can double-check for themselves if they would like. You can read more about what they fact check and their process for selection here: https://www.factcheck.org/our-process/

 

Posted on December 11, 2020

by Daphne Bechrakis

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Daphne Bechrakis

Daphne Bechrakis

Daphne is a Public Services Librarian and Harry Potter enthusiast. In her free time, she enjoys reading, adding books to her ever-growing “to-be-read” list, hiking, and watching terrible movies with friends. One of her current life goals is to collect the entirety of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Her bucket list includes seeing the Aurora Borealis and going to Yellowstone National Park. She is the proud owner of a spider-plant named Skullcrusher III, first of its kind, which she has somehow managed not to kill yet.
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