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fact checking websitesQuickly check whether a political statement is fact, fiction or something in between. Fact checking websites won’t give you all the answers or tell you what to think, but they they can help you sort out what is and isn’t true – and that’s important.

Occasionally American election seasons can become mean-spirited, with both sides saying things that are veritably untrue while constantly accusing the other side of lying. We’re lucky – this year everyone is behaving, and there are no such problems at all. Seriously. It’s been great.

But if the next election somehow proves to be full of spin and outright distortions it will be good to know which sites are trying to work out whether a statement is true or false – regardless of which party that statement comes from.

Politifact

This Pulitzer-prize winning project – run by the Tampa Bay Times – is among the best known fact-checking sites in America. It is also perhaps the simplest of these sites to browse. Statements from politicians are shown alongside the “truth-o-meter”, an imaginary device capable of showing you the truth of a statement with a simple color code. Red lies, yellow partial truths and green facts are easy enough to interpret, and if the meter is on fire you know a statement is completely false.

fact checking websites

It’s a somewhat childish scale, sure, but it’s great at a glance – and clicking any statement provides an in-depth breakdown of the facts. Check out Politifact now if you’re interested; there’s even smartphone apps if you want them.

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FactCheck.org

Another site frequently cited by the press, FactCheck.org is offered by the Anenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. There’s no convenient dial telling you how true a statement is, but you’ll find articles exploring the facts behind statements made by prominent politicians.

fact checking web sites

Check out FactCheck.org now, if you’re interested.

Washington Post Fact Checker

This blog, offered by the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, breaks down political advertisements as well as headline-making statements from both parties.

fact checking web sites

It’s not staffed by an entire team like the above fact checking websites, but it does regularly break down what’s being said. Check out Fact Checker if you’re interested.

Snopes Politics

No list of fact-checking sites is complete without Snopes, the oldest such site on the Internet. Originally focused on verifying or refuting the email forwards and Internet legends that quickly spread in the web’s early days, Snopes today may seem old-fashioned. The information it offers, however, is still extremely relevant.

fact checking websites

The site concerns itself more with lingering rumors than up-to-the-minute assessment of statements, but it’s still a great reference for when your Uncle tells you Mitt Romney is Mexican or your friend at work insists President Obama is an atheistic Muslim.

Conclusion

Politics isn’t a sport – you can’t simply cheer for your team and deride the others. Making an informed decision means paying attention to all sides and weighing the evidence. That’s why having a healthy information diet is essential, but even if you’re conscious about the kind of information you consume it’s easy for intelligent people to believe things that aren’t true.

Fact checkers aren’t magic: they’re perfectly capable of getting things wrong from time to time, and if they get things wrong in a way that hurts your favored team that will obviously upset you. That doesn’t mean fact-checking as a pursuit is worthless, however – having someone try to verify whether a concrete statement is actually true is helpful, regardless of which seeming truth you might prefer.

Of course these aren’t the only sites checking facts: most major newspapers do so routinely. These sites simply arrange information about the accuracy of statements in a way that’s simple to browse. What decisions you come to after reading this information is up to you.

Do you know of any other fact-checking sites Is It Really True? The 5 Best Fact-Checking Websites Is It Really True? The 5 Best Fact-Checking Websites Fact checking has its origin in the early 20th century, when magazines began to verify statements made in non-fictional texts prior to publication. This practice increases credibility and trustworthiness of articles and documents. Today, fact... Read More worth considering? Share them in the comments below, or simply accuse me of having a conservative and/or liberal bias.

  1. Marybel
    November 16, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    All liberal/progressive/leftist sites. Looking for an unbiased site

  2. Diana
    October 30, 2012 at 6:30 am

    It's fine if you are liberal, but you do not even have to read the entire article to know you are, simply based on the examples used. In each example you chose to use Obama is heavily favored. Obama says Mitt sends jobs to China... In Snopes there is only 1 negative truth about Obama used as an example the rest are partial truths and others that claim to be false. How about- "The Romney campaign crams two falsehoods into a very few words..." Your truth-o-meter example shows Obama telling a half truth...about Romney, not even about himself.. poor guy must have been misinformed but basically he is correct and then shows that statements Romney has made about his tax plan to be mostly false. I see this kind of slant all over the web and yes from both sides but far more prominent on the left, it's true go ahead and fact check it... oh wait....

    • Justin Pot
      October 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      I don't consider myself a liberal. Closer to libertarian in many ways; I love me some capitalism. Wouldn't have said that growing in Canada, because I wouldn't have known what it meant.

      But again: I don't think that's relevant. The examples were the top ones from every page, at the time of taking the screenshots. Didn't dream they would be analyzed to this extent. There wasn't a Snopes page about Romney at the time, at least that I found. Provide a link if you can.

      And your logic here assumes candidates tell the truth (and/or are lied about) in equal measure, and as such deserve to be proven wrong equally.

  3. Edwin Williams
    October 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    This will help me when I'm doing papers in college! Thanks!

  4. AP
    October 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Are their any websites to check facts about political statements of third world leaders, because politics there is more a blood-sports.

  5. Mark Devlin
    September 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Fact Check; *5* 4 Fact Checking Sites You Should Read Before Voting

    The comments on this article show that It appears to many, on all sides of the political fence, that fact checkers are simply shielding their own biases with the cloak of authority. How can ordinary people find truth from the same media that creates the articles and fact checks them?

    Last week I launched WeCheck http://wecheck.org/, the people’s fact check that anyone can edit. WeCheck allows anyone to highlight political claims and add text, links and sources to support or oppose the claim.

    Even if the end result is not what some may like, unlike other fact checking sites at least all sides of the issue can be explored on an unbiased non-partisan playing field. It’s early days right now and there’s a lot of work to be done, but I invite you to have a look and if you can, to participate.

  6. the old rang
    September 29, 2012 at 3:57 am

    I have spent many years (over 50) finding these facts...

    Everyone has a bias (Snopes has a decided bias, but generally tries not to show it)

    Using one source, no matter how reliable, is not wise, when looking for fact.

    The Washington Post, (owned by NY Times) has the reliability of the NY Times...

    I trust neither to report anything without lying. Check Their past for how often they lied.

    They submitted their articles to the current occupant of 2400 Pennsylvania, to have it passed. They have consistently lied, and never thought it was wrong. I don't mean little lies... but, BIG ones...

    Find sources that have a general tendency to tell the truth. I trust none of the media.. In This country, for truth. They may tell it, from time to time.

    I go to overseas sites, many even liberal, to get truth... Sadly...

    There is very little, in our media, be it Over Air, paper, cable or Satellite.

    Find 5 or more sites, that have some reliability to tell the truth (mostly none of the above)

    Make sure they do not agree, politically...

    Between what they are wrong about, you will find what is truth... more or less.

    There are stations (cable) that there is no chance of truth... You know who they are...

    But, when CNN and MSNBC have lower believability than.the National Enquirer... you know where not to look.

    (Think I am wrong on that last one? Remember John Edwards...)

  7. Mario Cordero
    September 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Justin, you must be a conservative - because those sites don't agree with everything President Obama says 100% of the time (sarcasm). People these are fact checking sites, no political opinion was expressed by the author of this post - he even asks for other fact checking sites. If you know of one, provide this information and stop whining.

  8. xbalesx
    September 28, 2012 at 1:09 am

    wow, justin...just guessing your a liberal? The first one on your list, Politifact, has zero integrity and even less credibility when "fact checking". Sad to see you promote their website next to the word "fact". Just recently I can cite 6+ "fact checks" where they twisted the facts to support their opinions and views politically.

    Lastly, you citing Politifact as a good source for fact checking in politics damages your integrity and credibility. One word to sum it up...sad.

    • Don Stott
      September 28, 2012 at 1:31 am

      Yes, it seems that the tentacles of "liberalism" are inescapable even on a site that one would think would be apolitical.

      Sad, indeed... and pathetic.

    • Justin Pot
      September 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      I don't consider myself a liberal but also don't consider that relevant. I listed a variety of sources I've seen cited elsewhere, and didn't think I could do the list without Politifact – it's cited quite frequently. Looking through it I saw them calling out both Obama and Romney, and if nothing else reading their take is a way to supplement your opinion.

      If you know other fact-checking sites worth checking out, though, please share.

    • Dave Parrack
      September 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      I see no liberal agenda in this article. There are 4 sites listed, one of which some people think sides with the Democrats. And that means this article has been tainted by the "tentacles of liberalism". I don't think so somehow.

  9. Ben
    September 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    You omitted this fact checking site that is dedicated to political issues:

    http://ontheissues.org

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