Fake News Checker: Don’t Be Fooled
Phony news is hardly a new phenomenon. Documents show Ramses the Great lying about stunning war victories way back in the 13th century BC. Enemies of Marc Antony circulated slanderous news about him, and even Cleopatra herself spread false rumors of her suicide — prompting Antony to later take his own life. Benjamin Franklin lied about bloodthirsty Indians scalping innocent colonists. Fake news has recently become a huge topic of interest, thanks in part to Donald Trump’s repeated use of the phrase.
In our digital age, false news is more easily spread (and believed) than at any other time in human history. It’s even been shown that fake news spreads faster than the real thing. With so many factors riding upon our media knowledge, it’s critical to know what’s real and what isn’t.
Fortunately, there are resources out there dedicated to shining light on the truth.
This site is run by the reputable independent newspaper Tampa Bay Times. PolitiFact even won the Pulitzer Prize for its honest and dedicated dissection of news articles. Results are displayed via their Truth-O-Meter that rates statements as “True” all the way down to “Pants on Fire.”
PolitiFact also provides excellent search capabilities when researching individuals. For example, if you’re building an argument about the dishonesty of Donald Trump, you can filter by statements of his that have been proven false, including the actual truth for each one.
Snopes is notable for usually being the first fact-checker to jump on new articles. Some have accused the people behind Snopes of hiding their identities and having a political agenda of their own, but the husband and wife team that began the site as a hobby back in 1995 have nothing to hide.
Founded in 2003, FactCheck is the brainchild of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center. While a bit more academic and complicated when compared to sites like PolitiFact and Snopes, FactCheck is highly detailed and one of the most truly non-partisan sites out there. Its sister site, FlackCheck.org, is an awesome tool for understanding political literacy and how to spot flaws in political ads and other propaganda.
Washington Post’s Fact Checker
This top resource provides thorough fact-checking and includes its sources. Some have criticized it for being left-biased, but this is only due to its choosing to debunk conservative articles more often. What it does choose to cover is done with honesty and integrity.
For money tracking, this is the site. It’s run by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics and is dedicated to tracking where politicians get their money — and how much they receive. If you suspect that a lobbying group or business has a hidden agenda, OpenSecrets will provide you with the facts.
Fake news may be a huge problem, but no one can deny that the subject is quite compelling. Immerse yourself in a world of deceptive media conglomerates in #WarGames, Eko’s series of interactive stories in which you control the fates of Kelly and her group of rogue hackers. You’ll be surprised at the manipulation that the media is capable of, and you’ll notice more than a few reflections of today’s reality.