The 5 Best Unbiased Fact-Checking Sites for Finding the Truth
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Fact checking has its origin in the early 20th century when magazines began to verify statements made in non-fictional texts prior to publication. But the impact of fake news has soared in recent years. This means that ordinary people are increasingly skeptical of what they read online and hear from others.

So in the age of misinformation and fake news What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? Fake news is plaguing the internet and the worst part is that most people can't recognize it when they see it. Read More , how do you check your facts? Here are five of the best fact-checking websites so that you can find the truth.

1. Media Bias/FactCheck (MBFC News)

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If you were wondering who is there to fact check the fact checkers, that would be MBFC. The website is a bias rating resource and even news apps and extensions 5 Smarter News Apps to Simplify How You Read Important News 5 Smarter News Apps to Simplify How You Read Important News The way we read news has changed. Here are some useful new apps for a smarter way to read the news. Read More like CivikOwl integrate these ratings into their own systems. The site’s reputation means that it has long been a resource that internet users can visit to check the bias in their favorite news websites.

MBFC not only includes reports on the bias of famous fact-checking websites like Snopes and Politifact but also publishes a daily source bias check. It takes into account its own methodology, as well as reports from users. Factors that they consider include sourcing, biased wording, story choices, and political affiliation. If you want a claim checked that hasn’t been covered by other sites, you can submit a request on MBFC.

The site analyzes bias and funding sources and also checks how factual a site’s content is overall. For example, the Washington Post received a bias rating of “left-center”, but a high factual reporting score. This is because while they publish factual information, MBFC says loaded words are used in reporting.

Meanwhile, Fox News is listed as having a right bias and a mixed rating for factual reporting.

Finally, MBFC also has extensive lists on news sources with different biases (right, extreme, left, etc). This includes lists of websites known for conspiracies, pseudoscience and questionable sources.

We’ve included the MBFC News bias rating on each of the fact-checking sites on this list.

2. PolitiFact

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MBFC News Rating: Least Biased

PolitiFact is a non-partisan fact-checking website that focuses on claims made in the political sphere in the US. This includes statements by politicians, political topics such as immigration, and general news. A global edition of the site tackles stories from other parts of the world.

PolitiFact is a Pulizter Prize-winning website and was acquired by the Poytner Insitute in 2018—a reflection of the site’s commitment to quality, truthful journalism.

The website has a few unique elements that make it stand out from other fact-checking websites. Firstly, there’s the Truth-o-Meter, which assesses the level of truth in a statement. This scale includes levels such as true, half true, mostly false, and even a “pants on fire” rating at the far end of the meter. The site even has an affiliated app called PolitiTruth that aims to test your political knowledge and susceptibility to fake news.

3. Snopes

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MBFC News Rating: Least Biased

Snopes started out as a site that mainly dealt with urban legends, myths, common misconceptions, and rumors. However, it has expanded to encompass general fact-checking of viral misinformation, including political statements.

Snopes has been accused of being left-leaning and receiving funding from liberal billionaire George Soros. However, its founder David Mikkelson says all the site’s revenue comes from Facebook advertising.

Meanwhile, FactCheck.org has put its weight behind Snopes; saying it is a reliable source and frequently citing the website in their own fact-checking articles. Meanwhile, CivikOwl gives the site a rating quality of “high”.

Its media bias rating Check the Political Bias of Any Media Site in This Massive Database Check the Political Bias of Any Media Site in This Massive Database Every media site has a political bias, but sometimes it isn't easy to see just how biased they are. This database tracks and analyzes them for your convenience. Read More is “center”, which according to AllSides.com “means the source or person rated does not predictably show opinions favoring either end of the political spectrum, conservative or liberal”. So despite the occasional detractors, the site holds a high reputation in the fact-checking community.

4. FactCheck.org

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MBFC News Rating: Least Biased

Not only is FactCheck.org a fact-checking website with an established history of journalistic rigor, but it is also one of the partners Facebook has recruited to combat viral fake news.

FactCheck is a non-partisan fact-checking website which focusing primarily on US politics. It is also a non-profit project run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania—meaning its focus is on information, not the pursuit of profit.

Not only does the site regularly debunk politician claims and viral fake news, but it also lets users submit their own questions to the website.

5. Google Search

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Google’s search engine can help you find the truth. However, it takes a critical eye to distinguish truth from fiction, especially when digging through hundreds of search engine results. You’ll need to make sure that you’re getting your information from a trustworthy news website 13 Most Trusted News Sites You Should Bookmark 13 Most Trusted News Sites You Should Bookmark We are in an age where we don't trust the people reporting the news. But there are some trustworthy news sources out there. Look at the ones on this list for unbiased reporting. Read More  and not some conspiracy blog.

However, when it comes to search engine results, there’s also the problem of confirmation bias. People are more likely to lend credence to results that confirm their preconceptions rather than ones that contradict it. This includes clicking on that one search result from a random, unverified source and believing what it has to say, versus the results from sources with verified facts.

Nevertheless, a search engine is a good start. When you are checking facts for your homework, try Google Scholar to find scholarly literature on Google Books.

Google’s snippet previews and information from Google Assistant can also answer questions for users looking for clarification on a topic.

Fact-Checking Is Evolving

As the ways to spread misinformation become more accessible and effective, the news industry and journalists constantly need to find new ways to keep the public informed.

Even blockchain technology is being brought into the mix. We are now seeing the dawn of decentralized news networks and peer-reviewed content. Find out more about this new horizon in the era of news in our piece on how blockchain is changing the media How Bitcoin's Blockchain Technology Is Changing the Media How Bitcoin's Blockchain Technology Is Changing the Media The blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin. But it can do more than power cryptocurrencies. The media industry needs shaking up, but how can blockchain technology change our relationship with the news? Read More .

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  1. John Webb
    September 9, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I use all of them regularly especially media bias fact checks. I deleted all the dodgy sites I was linked to on facebook thanks to them. It's a shame that more organizations like these don't exist though and you would think they would the way the world is these days with so much fake news coming from those who are usually the biggest complainers of it.
    I suspect most of the comments you will get from this article though will be from people who can't abide these sites as they disagree with the results they come up with and rather than learn from them they just attack the sources.

  2. Shauna Johnstone
    September 7, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Your bias shows in this article. You did not include for instance, truthorfiction.com which is quite reliable. Snopes has been debu nked many times. Their methods have been found wanting. For instance this article from 2008 published in US News, well before Trump ever was a factor is well worth reading. https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2013/05/28/study-finds-fact-checkers-biased-against-republicans
    I guess your article proves that everyone sees what they want to see.

    • Megan Ellis
      September 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Shauna, I included sites that had a neutral rating from MBFC since it is an independent organization that is used as a measure of bias by other independent organizations like CivikOwl. I didn't include TruthOrFiction, since it tends to focus on hoaxes and internet rumors more than other fact-checking. Its site shows it also does fact checks much less frequently, with many front-page posts from July 2017. Its recent 2018 posts are based on fact-checking celebrity gossip and scams, rather than fact checks on current news. It's the only reason it wasn't on this list, since it does have a neutral bias rating, but it has a very specific scope of coverage. It's the same reason why HoaxSlayer isn't on this list -- it's also trustworthy, but its scope is limited.

      The article you mentioned is an opinion piece based on a study that showed that more Republican statements were found to be false by Politifact. The comment that this means it's biased was based on the opinion of the writer, just as others interpreted it as meaning that the party makes more false claims. Some say it's because the party is targeted by fact-checkers, while others say the party shares more falsehoods. This is why I used the MBFC rating, since it is peer-reviewed from people across the political spectrum (internet users and journalists alike) and is based on multiple checks rather than the opinion of an individual.

  3. dragonmouth
    September 6, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    "5. Google Search"
    ROTFLMAO!
    Google one of the 5 best unbiased?! Next joke! Just the fact that Google sells better placement location in their searches makes those searches biased.

    How many SEO tools are out there to optimize (improve) search results?

    • Megan Ellis
      September 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Dragonmouth

      Thanks for your comment. Google Search places any paid-for search results under the ads section, separate from organic search results.

      SEO manipulation definitely exists, especially when it comes to companies trying to bury bad publicity. But that's why I mentioned that you need to take results with a pinch of salt considering that untrustworthy results can show up among trustworthy results. Unfortunately, no fact-checking site contains all the answers to any question you may have, which is why a search engine is sometimes needed. For example, that Trump meme which shows a fake quote from a fake article calling Republican voters dumb is quickly debunked through a Google search which shows multiple reputable news organizations mentioning that it's a false quote. It is also debunked on Snopes, but requires specific wording ("fake Trump quote" doesn't work, but "dumb republicans" does).

      All-in-all, a search engine is where you'll find the biggest variety of sources, the ability to check if a claim is backed up by multiple trustworthy organizations, and anything that may refute a claim. But it requires the searcher to take a good look at the results :)