The history and currentstate of fact checking in 15minutes or less* *Go ahead and time me, fact checkers
In the beginning...“Any bright girl who really applies herself tothe handling of the checking problem canhave a very pleasant time with it and ﬁll theweek with happy moments and memorableoccasions” — Edward Kennedy, Time (1920s)
Magazines Catch On 30s to 70s• New Yorker, Esquire, New York, The Atlantic, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek etc. add checking departments.• Closed process• Job was a stepping stone
Watchdogs Emerge• Accuracy in Media, 1969• FAIR, 1986• Media Research Center, 1987 (NewsBusters)• Honest Reporting (2000), CAMERA (1982)• Media Matters for America, 2004
Emergence of Dedicated Checking Orgs• FactCheck.org, 1993• PolitiFact, 2007
Decline of Magazine Checking Depts.• Newsweek eliminates checkers, 1996• Fortune, 1997• Cutbacks and outsourcing hit other publications
Weaponization of Checking• “We can fact check your ass” — Ken Layne• Rathergate• Blogs + crowdsourcing = new, collaborative checking
New Players, New Technology• Report An Error Alliance/Fact Check box• Hypothes.is• MediaBugs• NewsTrust/TruthSquad• Storyful• SwiftRiver• Truthy• WikiFactCheck
Future of Fact Checking?• Open, collaborative systems• Mixture of human and machine intelligence• Need new tools, and to spread skills/ training• Will still be used for partisan purposes, which means more noise and clutter in the space
One View“In 20 years, I think we will have figured out howto identify quality and credibility among thethousands and thousands of news sourcesvying for some of my attention ... Along thosesame lines, my news tools will fact-check everynews story I read, highlighting mistruths,mistakes, bias, etc., and providing citation linksto back up highlighted problem areas in thecontent.”— Steve Outing
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