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Fact Checking: The Facts
Sick and tired of seeing misinformation? Never know who or what to trust? Can't figure out if what you've heard is true? Feel Duped? Want better tools to sort truth fr0m fiction. Here's a quick guide to sorting out facts, weighing information and being knowledgeable online and off. 1. Check Credentials. Is the author specialized in the field that the article is concerned with? Does s/he currently work in that field? Check LinkedIn or do a quick Google search to see if the author can speak about the subject with authority and accuracy. 2. Look for Bias. Does the article seem to lean toward a particular point of view? Does it link to sites, files or images that seem to skew left or right? Biased articles may not be giving you the whole story. 3. Check the Sources. When an article cites sources, it's good to check them out. Sometimes, official-sounding associations are really biased think tanks or represent only a fringe view of a large group of people. If you can't find sources, read as much about the topic as you can to get a feel for what's already out there and decide for yourself if the article is accurate or not. 4. Check the Dates. Like eggs and milk, information can have an expiration date. In many cases, use the most up-to-date information you can find. 5. Judge Hard. If what you're reading seems too good to be true, or too weird, or too reactionary, it probably is.
Courtesy of Indiana University East.
Fact Checking Sites
Provides multiple viewpoints on a variety of news stories.
A product of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, this site is terrific for checking up on political claims.
This system asks the question, who is responsible for a domain name or an IP address?
ICANN's WHOIS Lookup gives you the ability to lookup any generic domains, such as "icann.org" to find out the registered domain holder.
A professional networking website where you can look up the authors of articles and books to see if they're credible.
Media Bias / Fact Check
Aims to call out biased or deceptive news and media practices
"Nonpartisan, independent and non profit, the Center for Responsive Politics, is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy"
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact researches the claims of politicians and checks their accuracy.
Focuses exclusively on false and misleading scientific claims that are made by partisans to influence public policy.
One of the oldest debunking sites on the Internet, Snopes.com focuses on urban legends, news stories and memes. the also cite their sources at the end of each debunking.
The Washington Post Fact-Checker
While focused primarily on political facts, it covers specific claims in-depth and with plenty of cross-referencing.
Known Fake, Parodic and Misleading News Sites
The Borowitz Report
From humorist Andy Borowitz, a column parodizing and commenting on current news trends
The Daily Dot: Fake News Sites List
NOTE: This list is not exhaustive and may be updated at any time. A compiled list of fake news sites to watch out for.
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Mercola is a doctor of osteopathy who has frequently been targeted by the FDA for promoting false, misleading and even dangerous medical advice. His site promotes products and his blog includes false and/or misleading information about medical topics.
One of America's premier parodic news sites.
Wikipedia List of Fake News Sites
Sites that intentionally publish hoaxes and misinformation to drive web traffic rather than for a humorous purpose, as in news satire.
News Outlet Codes of Ethics and Standards
One of the ways in which a news source demonstrates its authenticity and responsibility to its readers is through a publicly accessible code of ethics or standards. A sample of various codes, mission statements and ethics handbooks are listed below.