Fact-checking for everybody

Credit: http://my-poor-brain.deviantart.com/art/Orange-Stock-Image-Crowd-109370244
Credit: http://my-poor-brain.deviantart.com/art/Orange-Stock-Image-Crowd-109370244

Too often, we talk about fact-checking as an elite activity. First, it was a job for the magazine’s in-house fact-checker (back when there were such things). Then it was a job for non-partisan fact-checking organizations or dedicated journalistic operations like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.

As important as those organizations are, fact-checking is also something we all need to practice each day as news consumers. It’s really akin to media literacy: a critical reflex, backed up with a few modern tools, that we must bring to bear when we consume modern media in all its forms (but especially social media).

With that in mind, I put together this round-up of fact-checking tools that we all can use. It started as a talk for the Skeptic’s Toolbox, a workshop held two weeks ago in Eugene, Ore., and grew with feedback from participants. I hope you’ll find some useful suggestions in these lists. Please let me know anything you think I’ve missed!

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