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The Most Reliable Fact Checking Websites

Posted by Jamie on January 29, 2018

In this age of fake news, ‘alternative truth’ and outright lies, sorting fact from fiction has never been more important. While nobody in their right mind has ever believed what the government or any politician says, the current climate makes that even more necessary to search for the truth. Never in the recent history of our country has it been more important to check your own facts.

Here are what I consider reliable fact checking websites you can rely on.

Get your story straight

Having dipped a toe in journalism before shifting to tutorials and tech writing, I have some background in fact checking. Typically, a responsible journalist will corroborate a fact or story with two to three independent sources. The more impartial those sources the better. Of course, not all journalists or writers do this but it is the ideal.

There are three sides to every story. Yours, theirs and the truth. This does not imply that someone is not telling the truth but that we all have different perceptions of what happens around us. Fact checking is essential to eliminate confirmation bias, or any bias from that story. Using multiple sources helps us achieve that. While all writers will have an opinion, good writers separate opinion from fact, or at least clearly signal which is which.

TechJunkie is all about providing impartial and accurate information to everyone. Listing these fact checking websites you can rely on is just a part of that. Each of the sites listed below has a good reputation for delivering the real truth with as little bias as possible. They are about as good as it gets right now.

Fact checking websites you can rely on

Some of these websites cover political topics while others include general knowledge. All of them are as impartial as they can be and where politics is involved, non-partisan.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a very important fact checking website. Sure, it gets things wrong sometimes but it is edited and maintained by the public. This openness prevents bias as multiple editors will have multiple perspectives and will usually settle on the middle ground. So while you do have to double check the accuracy of what is said, you don’t have to worry about political leanings or bias.

FactCheck.org

As its name suggests, FactCheck.org is for fact checking. It is run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It mainly relates to political stories but covers science, social subjects and general interest subjects. It also has a useful Ask a Question section where you can do exactly that.

With a mission stated as ‘to be a consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics’, the site is a good source of facts for verification.

Snopes

Snopes is run by David Mikkelson and updated regularly. It is another fact checking website that seeks to find the facts behind the fiction and has been credited with busting some dominant myths recently. The site is funded purely from advertising and is not funded by anyone else. The subjects covered are a range of the political, urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors and misinformation-busting facts.

Snopes is highly regarded by other fact checking websites as well as independent sources. It is as good a place as any to find the truth behind the story.

The Sunlight Foundation

The Sunlight Foundation either sounds creepy or happy clappy depending on your perspective. What it is, is another fact checking website that has proven itself reliable. The organization seeks to share knowledge by forcing open and transparent access to government data. They work with other organizations to provide fact checking as well as push their freedom of information agenda.

They are unlikely to succeed in forcing government to be more open, certainly not for the next four years but they do provide the information we need to make good decisions.

PolitiFact

PolitiFact is a Pulitzer prize winning website that does its best to debunk the garbage that comes out of Washington. If a politician or a political supporter makes a claim,  PolitiFact will check it and rate it as truth or lie illustrated by their ‘Truth-O-Meter’. Run by editors and reporters from the independent Tampa Bay Times, this site has proven itself reliable over many years.

PolitiFact is regarded as one of the most reliable websites on the internet for anything politics and many newspapers and media outlets openly say they check their own facts against it before going to press.

Open Secrets

Open Secrets follows the money. We all know that money is power in Washington and Open Secrets traces it wherever it can. Run by the Center for Responsive Politics, the website helps you to see who funds whom and what effect such funding will have on their positions, votes and the overall direction of government.

Used in conjunction with other fact checking websites, Open Secrets can help shed light on the motivations behind decisions and just how much influence lobbyists and big business has over how our country is run.

Washington Post‘s Fact Checker

Washington Post‘s Fact Checker is also a credible source. Run by the Washington Post, this website tries to sort the truth from fiction of political claims. It has a neat Pinocchio system for conveying the claim’s accuracy, the more Pinocchios it has the farther from the truth the claim is.

The summaries are often short but they cut to the chase. Sometimes not all sources are listed either so it is hard to verify where the Post got its own facts from. Used alongside other verification tools, this is a credible source that you can rely on.

When trying to sort out truth from ‘alternative truths’ it is always a good idea to use two or more sources. To be extra sure, find the sources of each to make sure they aren’t all quoting the same source. If three different fact checking websites are all using the same single source, they may all be inaccurate. Sometimes this is unavoidable, especially in politics. In that case, just use your best judgment to decide what to believe.

Got any other fact checking websites you trust? Share them with the community below!

3 thoughts on “The Most Reliable Fact Checking Websites”

BG says:
“Snopes…they keep changing their facts around. They’ve threatened a friend who claims called them a liar to get a lawyer.”
Still no sources, references or anything else to support these wild claims, eh?

A Fake News unassisted double play! Well done!

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Roger says:
This is a bucket load of used oats … At the very bottom of the Sunlight Foundation “About Us” comes this statement: “In 2018, we are pushing for the passage of the OPEN Government Data Act, the Honest Ads Act, and other reforms in Washington that will hold the Trump administration accountable to the public it serves.

Just another left-wing blowhards, pretending that only (they) can lead us to truth … in other words they are not truthful of their agenda, thus, nothing they put forth can be believed.

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Daryl Beattie says:
Back in 2015 I was challenged by a Trump Supporter to verify a comment and I stated Snopes, which made him angry as he stated there was proof that Snopes was “Liberal Biased”. I said I would look into it if he cited his source, and he gave me an “Ethics Alert” article that showed in detail how it was liberal biased by taking apart quotes from an article on debunking the Hillary Clinton myth that she “got a Child Molester off and laughed about it”. The ethics Alert Article was well thought out and some of it really did show the quotes were liberal slanted. As long as that was all you read, it seemed to prove his point. EXCEPT, I read the article they referred too ad most of the quotes were made up or changed in meaning and it was the false changes that Ethics Alert made it’s big score on. The rest of it might look liberal, because the original internet hoax was an Alt. Right Claim, but that is not Snopes fault.
……..Don’t read one thing. Double check every now and then.
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BleuRose says:
Snopes is no longer a reliable fact checking site, they keep changing their facts around. They’ve threatened a friend who claims called them a liar to get a lawyer. She turned around and ended it with a block.

Skip Snopes find something better more accurate.

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Edison says:
Please provide the facts to back up your claims
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vivere100 says:
Exactly. When making a claim, it is upon the claimant to provide evidence for the claim. Otherwise there is no explicit validity to the claim. However, it is certainly true that there can be bias or error in any statement, fact checked or not, so must realize this and look deeper and broader to ensure some sense of sureness. That, if it can be achieved.

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