Skip to main content

POL SCI 113G: Issues of Political Identity at the Turn of the Century - Coscia

Fact checkers

What do fact checkers do when checking a website for credibility? Before they read the content they determine where the information is coming from.  They leave the website, and Google the organization or the president.  They don't trust the "About" page and they don't rely on result order presented on Google as an indicator of quality.

Source: Why Students Can't Google Their Way to the Truth

Articles on fake news and how to identify it:

Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts 

Media Resources

Check the source! Websites that can help in evaluating news sources.

Identify Media Bias:

All Sides: "It is not “accurate” – there is no such thing as an accurate measure of bias – but it does provide readers a sense of the political leanings of the source. This makes it much easier to provide different perspectives on any topic, helping all of us see a more complete picture and better appreciate each other despite our differences." Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC News) is an independent online media outlet. MBFC News is dedicated to educating the public on media bias and deceptive news practices. MBFC News’ aim is to inspire action and a rejection of overtly biased media. We want to return to an era of straight forward news reporting.Funding for MBFC News comes from site advertising, individual donors, and the pockets of our bias checkers.

Fact checking sources: Produced by The Annenberg Public Policy Center, FactCheck is "a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. See also SciCheck for fact-checking science-related stories. "Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, 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." 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. Founded by David Mikkelson, who lives and works in the Los Angeles area. What he began in 1995 as an expression of his interest in researching urban legends has since grown into what is widely regarded by folklorists, journalists, and laypersons alike as one of the World Wide Web's essential resources.

Additional sources

Political Open States is a collection of tools that make it possible for citizens to track what is happening in their state's capitol by aggregating information from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Social media

Hoaxy: "A joint project of the Indiana University Network Science Institute and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research," Hoaxy visualizes the spread of both claims and fact checking, although the site cautions, "We do not decide what is true or false. Not all claims you can visualize on Hoaxy are false, nor can we track all false stories. We aren’t even saying that the fact checkers are 100% correct all the time. You can use the Hoaxy tool to observe how unverified stories and the fact checking of those stories spread on public social media. We welcome users to click on links to fact-checking sites to see what they’ve found in their research, but it’s up for you to evaluate the evidence about a claim and its rebuttal."

Healey Library | University of Massachusetts Boston | 100 Morrissey Blvd | Boston, MA | 02125-3393 | 617-287-5900