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

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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 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.

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.

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fact checking websites

We have previously profiled Snopes for the MakeUseOf Directory.

Similar websites can be found in these articles:

When talking about checking facts, the political arena is hard to exclude. One of the online fact checking authorities in this field is, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. 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 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).


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

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Comments (39)
  • 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


      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.

  • oldestgenxer

    Snopes is a great site for urban legends and the like, however–
    It seems that there is no TRULY reliable fact-checking site for politics. Despite all the “Facts,” most of it is subjective and subject to interpretation. Also, much of it is based on “what if?”; in other words, if this or that policy is put into place, what will happen? Regardless of expert forecasting, there is no way to accurately measure, because this a complex world we live in, and you can’t steer from the back seat.
    That being said, I like Newsbusters, because they call out the liberal media on their bias, and people who don’t believe there is bias either aren’t paying attention, or agree with the bias. The media has always been biased, going back hundreds of years. It is human nature. Only since the 60s did they try to convince us that they were fair and honest–

    • Marty

      Gen xr you seem to think that news busters is accurate but they print the conservative bias as if it where the whole truth. So it seems that ones choice of fact- checker is dependent on ones own political viewpoint.

  • Buk

    I don’t see politifact. Factcheck has ties to Obama (he chaired the foundation that started it. Can’t be trusted. Politicfact like Factcheck says it non partisan, but now seems the lean to the laft as well. Non of these factcheckers are RELIABLE. I used to think Snopes was reliable, but now they just make excuses for Obama. Politifact claims non partisan: but its been uncoverd to be a lie. and as for Factcheck, connections to obama cant be trusted either.

    • Purell

      Newsbusters: ‘Exposing and Combating the Liberal Media Bias’. Sounds extremely impartial to me… Just thought you should know that that shiny gold sticker on their page is only a commemorative decal signifying 25 years of operation, not a symbol of accreditation and certainly not a Pulitzer Prize (read: Politifact)… I do research for a RW organization for a living, but have the presence of mind to distinguish ideology from fact.

    • terry smith

      Trouble with your analysis is that the left, unlike the right, makes a sport out of lying. Think Bill Clinton, Margret Mead, “I Rigoberta Menchu”, Nature vs Nurture, Global Warming, Gun Control, Feminist Studies, Bi-lingual Education, Lead Paint Crisis, etc….just a few of the frauds perpetrated by the left (or just lefty liars).

      I challenge the lefties out there to come up with a comparable list of lies/frauds perpetrated by the right! I conjecture there is no comparable list!

      So for the record I would believe Newsbusters way before I would trust Factcheck, Politifact or Snopes (which do seem to be liberal.)

    • Tina


      I don’t want to make this a political discussion, as I am not interested in Democrats vs. Republicans. I’m European and our political landscape is quite different. I just want to rebut one point you made, which is very personal to me.

      I love nature and I love people. Being a biologist, I have observed that people who do not have a connection to nature tend to be more stressed out. For me taking a walk in the forest, hiking in the mountains, sitting by the water, and simply observing nature does wonders. I know I would get sick if I could not do it.

      Maybe people being out of touch with nature and not having a natural way to calm down and relax, is one thing that causes so much despair and distress in our society. So I am interested in nature because I can clearly see how much the well being of myself and many other people depends on nature. Besides, humans are an integral part of nature in the first place.

      Now when you say that Global Warming is a lie, it makes me very concerned and I wonder what you mean by that. The thing is, climate change is really happening and it most likely will have catastrophic consequences for all of us.

      To me, this is not a political issue, but a human issue. We are all suffering from the consequences of climate change, regardless of nationality, race, religion, or political orientation. The fact is, we are already seeing more and more extreme weather conditions like heavy storms, droughts, flooding, more wildfires etc.

      You cannot deny that people are suffering from extreme weather events. You just have to realize that 1: the increased frequency of these events is a consequence of climate change and that 2: climate change is man made. The independent scientific evidence to support both these points is overwhelming.

      In other words, take what you call Global Warming off of your list. It is neither a liberal issue, nor is it a lie.

    • Gene

      you say global warming , I think it is a way to control food grow to be able to control good by the Elite who are trying to control everything even us humans , look at weather look at chemtrail being sprayed all over the world what not so then look up who is just one Corporation doing the spraying weathermodificationInc. also look up the 5 of more by now HAARP google it , It’s crazy and it’s a fact I even had a Chemtrail Budget from the site but they took it off and when they did if was removed from my favorites bookmarks, Gore came out with this and has made Billions on it , look it up , and being a biologist why not look into the presevatives in the vaccines and tell us what you think about that nano mercury !

    • Jim Keith

      while I understand your heartfelt concern regarding Global Warming [now conveniently changed to the more encompassing Climate Change] debate…I do not see the overwhelming evidence that it is man made and that we can do much, if anything, about it if it is, indeed, occurring. You might want to read anything by your fellow European, Bjorn Lomborg, in this regard. With the poles of Mars melting [ they do not have SUVs or humans way out there], with the sun activity that has been plotted in the past as well as currently, with the garbage in garbage out of climate modeling, the scare tactics fallen for hook line and sinker from the left of those like Al Gore [ I have fact checked myself his “science” and the high courts in England have ruled his movie a political statement ], not to mention all the Climate-gate undermining of the top “scientists” on the side of those that are skeptical of what the Global Warming very concerned crowd is trying to foist on the rest of us who are also intelligent human beings and not about to just be fed a load by those wanting to abscond with our taxes…well, it really has me wondering if you are not left leaning and your insights as to which sites to use being a little biased. I agree with an earlier comment that is highly suspect. I do appreciate the civil tone you have taken and agree with the fact that nature needs be conserved for a more peaceful and brighter world…but not one I want the radical environmentalists to control as they tend to be irrational and wear blinders when it comes to facts. thanks.

    • Tina


      Per your definition I may appear more left-wing than right-wing regarding this particular topic. In truth, however, there isn’t a black or white political opinion. Depending on the topic, anyone can be left, right, middle, or completely unconventional and that’s definitely true for me. I call this an open-minded world view.

      Increased solar activity is not responsible for warming on Mars. It can also not be held responsible for the rapid climate change we have been observing on Earth over the past couple of decades.

      The court in the UK also recognized that “the film was substantially founded upon scientific research and fact.”

      What we do to the planet is a moral issue. Not only do we contribute to the extinction of species, more importantly, we threaten the well being of our own race: ourselves and our children. I recommend you watch this short video – the most terrifying video you will ever see.

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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.