Are Fact Checking Websites Slanted?

In an era where ‘fake news’ as well as inaccurate reporting is rampant, it’s difficult for a lot of people to get their facts straight. Especially when it comes to politics. No doubt in light of everything that is happening, people are starting to doubt even fact checking sites like PolitiFact and Snopes have some ulterior motive despite them being neutral.

In recent months, there have been projects and research conducted to look into this matter to check the fact-checkers to see if they are indeed reliable or whether they are liberal partisans.

Politifact Controversies What is its origins?

Politifact has been around since 2007. Famous for it’s green and red meter, this site is designed to look at statements that politicians have made and find quality evidence to either support it or to prove that it’s a lie. Furthermore Politifact also has meters revealing how many campaign promises presidents have made on the campaign trail and followed through with when they came into office.

As far as controversy goes, there hasn’t been much controversy around this site specifically. That being said in light of the 2016 election and the multitude of misinformation and false statements made, people are still concerned about the legitimacy of sources. Especially since that election had the most fact checking ever.

Snopes Controversies What is its origins?

One of the first ever fact checking sites around, Snopes is known on the internet for being an oft-referenced source. Not only does the site work on politics but also other urban legends amongst other American popular culture stories.

But in light of all the fake news and misinformation, there is a lot more controversy surrounding Snopes. The main contributor being this Forbes article where the contributor received an original post from The Daily Mail which might’ve been fake news. But when the poster reached out to the owner their response was the same as telling someone “It is a secret.” This sort of vagueness isn’t quite warranted, especially on a fact-checking site that is supposedly neutral.

Are any news sources really fair and balanced or are they all partisan?

There is a lot of growing distrust in the media as not only media is being viewed as not as trustworthy, but also any fact-checking site that is is affiliated to media sites. The fact that many fact-checking sites have been working with journalists (thereby associating themselves with that paper), they’re moving further away from the neutral position they had and may be at risk of adopting a certain outlook politically.

Whether it’s left or right leaning, the opposite side will claim the fact-checker would be partisan. What’s even worse is that some fact checkers, like Snopes, may have people who are affiliated to a political party or are running for a political party.

At the end of the day, while we wish for people to remain neutral in every respect, it can be incredibly difficult. Especially in a world where every single person has an opinion.

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