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The amount of misinformation that is spread on the web is staggering. It is spread mainly via Websites, Social Networks, and Email. The Hot Topics for such misinformation are Politics, Government Policies, Religion and various Scams and Hoaxes.
Some websites have taken up the task of spreading awareness against rumors by presenting evidence and hard facts. Let’s look at some of the best sites that help us distinguish between the truth and rumors.
PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida, as is PunditFact, a site devoted to fact-checking pundits. The PolitiFact state sites are run by news organizations that have partnered with the Times. The state sites and PunditFact follow the same principles as the national site.
Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Open Secrets are by far the best source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money. They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.
A national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses the tools of civic tech, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all. Sunlight primarily focuses on money’s role in politics.
Headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, FlackCheck.org is the political literacy companion site to the award-winning FactCheck.org. The site provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular.
The Poynter Institute is not a true fact checking service. They are however a leader in distinguished journalism and produce nothing but credible and evidence based content. If Poynter reports it, you can count on it being true.
The most comprehensive media bias resource on the internet. There are currently 2700+ media sources listed in the database and growing every day. Don’t be fooled by Fake News sources. Use the search feature in their header to check the bias of any source. Use name or url.
Steps to fact check
1. Check for previous fact-checking: Check the fact checking sites to see if an online article or claim has already been debunked
2. Go upstream to the original source: Websites rarely contain original content. To determine the trustworthiness of information found online, try to find the original source of information.
3. Read laterally: Once you've found the original source of information, see what other people say about the author or publication. Do they have a good reputation?
4. Circle back: If you get stuck or find the claim is not trustworthy, start a new search using different keywords to find a different source and start the fact-checking process again.