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Finding Reliable Sources: Fact-Checking Sites

When to Fact Check

You can't Fact Check everything you read or hear, but if a statement sounds too good, bad or strange to be true, start digging.

First step:  See if a nonpartisan fact checking organization has already examined the statement.


Non-Partisan Factchecking Websites in the US

How can you determine if a fact-checking website is nonpartisan and reliable?  Ask yourself:

  • Does the organization have a bias or a stake in the issue?
  • Does the writer or the website stand to gain anything — like money or support — by coming to a particular conclusion?
  • Does the article appear to have been sent out unedited? Are there errors in spelling or grammar?
  • Does the author cite the original sources of data or information, rather than stories that cite that original data? (For example: the original source of CDC statistics is the CDC website, not an article that cites those CDC statstics.)
  • Are the data, reports, polls, surveys, etc. cited by the writer reliable and up to date?

Nonpartisan Fact-Checking Websites in the US: - (Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania). An umbrella of fact checking websites:

FactCheck covers politics
SciCheck covers science
Viral Spiral covers internet rumors
FlackCheck, has an instructional aim with "resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular. Video resources point out deception and incivility in political rhetoric."

Factchecker - Run by journalist Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, this site assesses claims made by politicians or political advocacy groups. 

Politifact - From the Tampa Bay Times.  Researches and rates the accuracy of claims made by national,state and local elected officials, candidates, leaders of political parties and political activists.

Punditfact - From the Tampa Bay Times. Researches and rates the accuracy of claims by "...pundits, columnists, bloggers, political analysts, the hosts and guests of talk shows, and other members of the media."

Snopes - Researches urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of questionable or unknown origin.

On the Media's Breaking News Consumer's Handbooks  - Instead of fact-checking specific stories, offers a growing collection of handbooks focused on identifying common misrepresentations in stories on broad topics such as Protests, Islamophobia, Drug Abuse, and more.

Non Partisan Fact-Checking Sites Outside the US

Fact-checking sites outside the US cover issues in their own countries, but may also examine US issues of importance to their country.

Nonpartisan Fact-Checking Websites Outside the US:

Duke Reporter's Lab - Duke University.  Their fact-checking database links to over "...100 non-partisan organizations around the world that...assess the accuracy of statements made by public officials, political parties, candidates, journalists, news organizations, associations and other groups."  Includes several dozen fact-checking sites in the US.

EU vs Disinfo:  A site from the European Union, created to challenge disinformation coming out of Russia.

Full Fact - A nonprofit, independent fact-checking organization based in the UK.