Is It Really True? The 5 Best Fact-Checking Websites

Ads by Google

fact checking web sitesFact 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 checking is often associated with political journalism, but can of course be used in any field, including your homework.

Using the following fact checking websites, you can verify factual assertions made in your own writings.

Google & Other Search Engines

Google can find the truth. However, it takes a critical eye to distinguish truth from fiction, especially when digging through hundreds of search engine results. Nevertheless, a search engine is a good start. When you are checking facts for your homework, try Google Scholar to find scholarly literature or Google Books.

fact checking web sites

If you need something to use for school, also have a look at this article – Where To Research Material For Your Homework

Snopes

Snopes is the best place to make sure you didn’t fall for an urban legend, folklore, myth, rumor, or other misinformation spread online. Snopes knows coke will not dissolve your teeth, there is no law in Arizona specifically forbidding camel-hunting, the Great Wall of China is not the only man-made object visible from the moon, and much more.

Ads by Google

It is worth noting that Snopes lists its sources at the end of every article. You can search the site with a few keywords and switch to advanced search if the results are not exactly what you are looking for.

fact checking websites

We have previously profiled Snopes for the MakeUseOf Directory.

Similar websites can be found in these articles:

FactCheck.org

When talking about checking facts, the political arena is hard to exclude. One of the online fact checking authorities in this field is FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. FactCheck.org describes itself as “a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception in U.S. politics.” In other words, this should be your number one source for information in the 2012 US elections.

fact checking websites

While we try to stay out of political debates, we have previously written about similar websites:

WhoWhatWhen

WhoWhatWhen is a database that contains information about famous people and famous events. The data can be assembled in various ways to create graphic timelines of periods in history or of the lives of individuals. For example the screenshot below shows the timeline for the life of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Using the world of drop-down menus, contemporary events from different categories can be added. This reveals that Bach was alive when the first elevator was installed.

fact checking websites

WhoWhatWhen also contains some interesting lists, for example alive & kicking, a list of the oldest still living celebrities, presently headed by actor Ernest Borgnine (95).

Merriam-Webster

Finally, a great place to quickly check basic facts, such as the meaning of words, medical information, or overview articles, is an encyclopedia. One of the best free sources is that of Merriam-Webster.

fact checking web sites

We have previously reviewed Merriam-Webster here: Merriam Webster – An Excellent Free Dictionary For Offline Use [Android 1.6+]

Also see these articles for more interesting dictionaries:

Which resources do you use to check your facts?

Image credit: Thumbs Up and Down via Shutterstock

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Awesome Websites
Awesome Websites
137 Members
Deep Web Communities
Deep Web Communities
80 Members
Best Anonymity Tools
Best Anonymity Tools
73 Members
Tips for Privacy Obsessed
Tips for Privacy Obsessed
44 Members
Best Music Services
Best Music Services
43 Members
Online Security Tips
Online Security Tips
41 Members
Web for Kids
Web for Kids
32 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (43)
  • David Alford

    I have noticed that Snopes shows liberal bias by using mostly liberal reports or liberal newspaper reports.

    • Charlie Sackett

      If it’s true, and provides factual evidence, does the fact that you perceive the source to be liberal mean that the truth is any less?

    • Mihir Patkar

      Well said, Charlie. Well said.

  • Veronica Daze

    I think some should read this article. There is another one on Bush solely from 2012 that has taken the actual count from a governmental database. Bush has taken more vacations than any other President ever. But this is an article that goes into it but not like the other one I found. It lays it out. I think all of this comparing Bush to Obama should be stopped. They are two different individuals and a lot stated about Obama is mere propaganda and many facts quoted are untruths especially if it comes from the GOP…sorry but true. I’m not biased on this because I am a registered Republican.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/aug/23/who-took-more-vacation-george-w-bush-or-barack-oba/

  • Jake Kemp

    Both Snopes and Fact Check have a Liberal political bias. Example: They may say in their response, that this company contributed to both Political parties. What they won’t say is that they gave 2 million to one party and $2 to the other. #2 They will say that global warming is a fact, but they won’t tell you that in the last 100 yrs it has risen only 1.53 degrees, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute #3 They say that Bush had more vacation days than Obama, what the won’t tell you is that he spent most of those days at his ranch(remote White Hous) and Obama was staying in 1.5 million dollar a night Hawaii resort rental. Facts are right, but lie by omission.

    • Tina Sieber

      #1: You have a point, theoretically, but I’m sure your own bias would lead you to cite biased examples, like the ones you gave us above.

      #2: You make it sound like an 1.53 °C increase of average global surface temperature (compared to pre-industrial levels) is not significant. And you fail to mention that scientists are seriously worried about crossing the 2°C mark. Right now, it looks like we’re headed towards 4°C by mid-century. Climate models for this scenario are rather unsettling.

      #3: How much does the ranch cost to run 365 days a year? Does it matter how politicians spend their vacation, if they pay it out of their own pocket?

    • ian falls

      great use of known facts in your reply there

    • ian falls

      and you do know the history of Annenberg Public Policy Center right?

    • von Hardenberg

      Climate does change but in how much is caused by human activity is the question. It makes us feel good to recycle, drive electric vehicles that displace the carbon emissions to the power plants and do all sorts of green things, but climate change is 99,8% a natural phenomenon. We can make things locally better or worse, but globally it is out of our control. It can be used as an issue to help establish political control and that is exactly what is happening. The common people must make the sacrifices, but the elite will be as wasteful as their self determined needs dictate.

    • Tina Sieber

      @von Hardenberg: “The common people must make the sacrifices, but the elite will be as wasteful as their self determined needs dictate.” Unfortunately, that’s true.

      As for the rest of your comment suggesting that man-made climate change isn’t real: nonsense.

    • Jim Meyer

      Well, as they say, reality has a well-known liberal bias. Typically, it's the side that's getting caught in a lie that charges the fact-checker with bias. Snopes has debunked their fair share of myths, lies, and distortions from either side of the political aisle and, as the article points out, they always list their sources, so you can check the fact-checker. Can't get much fairer than that! It would be fun to subject your own response to the fact checker. For example, you suggest that Obama spends most of his vacation time at a $1.5 million/night Hawaii resort rental (if there even IS such a thing!) but don't point out the enormous disparity between the number of vacation days taken by Obama (125, as of the August of 2014) and Bush (407, at the same point in his Presidency) nor do you mention that all Presidents, Republican or Democrat, essentially bring the White House with them wherever they go. So if Bush's "ranch" was a "remote White House," so was Obama's residence in Hawaii. And, just so you know, an average global temperature rise of 1.53 degrees is, actually, a very big deal. But the bigger deal is the RATE of rise, which is increasing exponentially. But congratulations on doing some misleading yourself while pretending to complain that Snopes is misleading!

  • edward

    global warming? the Bible said these events would come and intensify leading to the end. pick it up and check it out, remember back then normal people had no idea the progressions that we would make.

  • Adrienne

    With all due respect, and yes, I know this post is over 2 years old but, when Terry Smith mentioned “Nature vs. Nurture,” I don’t believe that Tina quite understood the context. “Nature vs Nurture” has nothing to do with the environment, or communing with nature. It is about genetics vs upbringing, as in with adopted or foster children becoming more like their biological parents, or the ones that raised them.

    In regards to the original topic, unfortunately, I seriously doubt that everyone will ever be able to agree on anything…ever. It’s just not possible, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing, necessarily. If everyone was in agreement on everything, all the time, man, talk about BORING!

    We would be reduced to nothing but small-talk. Person One: “Beautiful weather we’re having.” Person Two: “Yes, yes it is.” Person One: “Looks like the Giants are gonna win the Series again.” Person Two: “Yes, yes it sure does.” Person One: “Does the sky look green to you?” Person Two: “Well, now that you mention it….”

    However, it would be refreshing to have some honest politicians. Hopefully, ones that do not get driven mad, run off to live in the Everglades, and start terrorizing thoughtless tourists, litterbugs, & shifty Bass fishermen! On second thought, perhaps we do need more Skinks in the world…. :)

    • Tina

      Adrienne,

      It’s been over two years, so I’m not sure what I was thinking back then, but I was clearly responding to the issue of global warming / climate change, which Terry suggested was a lie.

      My intro was a bit lengthy, but in essence, I meant to express that climate change is a complex issue and a vicious circle. We are out of touch with nature (and ourselves), we are no longer self-sufficient, we depend on work to earn money (rather than producing what we need to sustain ourselves), we consume to fill needs, as a society we have become greedy, consuming more than we need, wasting resources left and right, and causing climate change, which of course adds to our stress.

      Climate change is a consequence of human / social development, of industrialization, of unmet human needs (see Maslow or Max-Neef) or greed, and many other things. Living in balance with nature is the solution to the whole dilemma. Instead of solving it by returning to the basics (conservative values and traditions if you want), we potentially make it worse by trusting in technology to solve the issue.

      I understand the implications of nature vs. nurture or genetics vs. social environment / milieu, and I see the political implications. It’s not an issue close to my heart, though, so this is not what I responded to.

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.