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Evaluating Online Information and Resources: Fact Checking Sites and Frequently Used Starting Points

Misinformation and Misleading by Design

There are many fact checking sites and tools that can help you sort through years of hoaxes and maliciously reproduced stories.

Yup... there's probably bias to be found in here too.

Think back to the Pew Research's quiz on telling Fact from Opinion. Keep your eyes open and your keyboard clicking.

Media Bias Fact Check

Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC) is an American website founded in 2015 by editor Dave M. Van Zandt. It uses a 0–10 scale to rate sites in two areas: bias and factual accuracy.

Note: A study published in Scientific Reports wrote: "While [Media Bias/Fact Check's] credibility is sometimes questioned, it has been regarded as accurate enough to be used as ground-truth for e.g. media bias classifiers, fake news studies, and automatic fact-checking systems

PolitiFact - Poynter is an American nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, with offices there and in Washington, D.C. It began in 2007 as a project of the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times), with reporters and editors from the newspaper and its affiliated news media partners reporting on the accuracy of statements made by elected officials, candidates, their staffs, lobbyists, interest groups and others involved in U.S. politics.

You Tube Data Viewer

The Youtube Dataviewer is a tool that allows users to extract metadata from Youtube videos. It allows users to track information such as original upload time of videos as well as running a reverse image search on all thumbnails used for videos, making it easier to see whether a video is actually relevant to the event people claim. To find the information, just copy and paste the URL into the dataviewer and search.

AP Fact-Checking

AP Politics on Twitter: "AP Fact Check finds that a couple of Trump's  early-term boasts were dashed by developments in recent days:" / Twitter

AP Fact-checking, accountability journalism and misinformation coverage from AP journalists around the globe. 

Wikipedia - What about good ole Wikipedia?

Wikipedia, a free Internet-based encyclopedia started in 2001, operates under an open-source management style. It is overseen by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia uses a collaborative software known as wiki that facilitates the creation and development of articles. Although some highly publicized problems have called attention to Wikipedia’s editorial process, they have done little to dampen public use of the resource, which is one of the most-visited sites on the Internet.


Focused on, but not limited to, validating and debunking urban legends and other stories in American popular culture.Snopes has been fact-checking folklore, urban legends, hoaxes, memes, and rumors on the internet for more than 25 years. It began as something of a hobby and has grown considerably since.

Duke Reporter's Lab

"The Reporters’ Lab is a center for journalism research in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Our core projects focus on fact-checking, but we also do occasional research about trust in the news media and other topics.

The Lab is funded by the Knight Chair endowment as well as grants from Knight Foundation, the Google News Initiative, the Facebook Journalism Project and Craig Newmark."

Who Is?

WHOIS is a query and response protocol that is widely used for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, such as a domain name, an IP address block or an autonomous system, but is also used for a wider range of other information.

Note: Does come with criticisms regarding privacy and accuracy from some. 


Founded by American banker Robert Allbritton in 2007, it was acquired by Axel Springer SE, a German publisher, in 2021. Axel Springer is Europe's largest newspaper publisher and had previously acquired Insider. Ideologically, its coverage has been described as leaning left of center or "moderate".

A nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics by providing original research on misinformation and hoaxes. It is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation.

Open Secrets

OpenSecrets is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that tracks data on campaign finance and lobbying. It was created from a merger of the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) and the National Institute on Money in Politics (NIMP).

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive allows the public to upload and download digital material to its data cluster, but the bulk of its data is collected automatically by its web crawlers, which work to preserve as much of the public web as possible. Its web archive, the Wayback Machine, contains hundreds of billions of web captures. The Archive also oversees numerous book digitization projects, collectively one of the world's largest book digitization efforts.


Hoax Slayer

Hoax Slayer (stylized as Hoax-Slayer) was a fact-checking website established in 2003 by Brett Christensen, dedicated to critically analyzing the veracity of urban legends. While it was best known for debunking false stories and internet scams, it also hosted a page listing strange but true stories.

Remember... Not all dubious misinformation is created equally. : )


  • Hoax sites
    • Tend to be totally fake - Save the North Western Tree Octopus!
  • Satire or Humorous sites
    • Even though they say they are for fun/entertainment, they can be used to confuse. The Onion is an example.
  • Hyperpartisan sites
    • Can be be biased, or only show one side of the issue. You will get a very clear point of view regarding gun control from the NRA site.
  • Hybrid sites
    • Mix real news with fake. Look below the surface. 
  • Lies via statistics
    • Look for 'apple to oranges' comparisons. It doesn't necessary need to be a straight out lie to muddy the water. 
  • Marketing and advertising
    • They might not be balanced. If there is a shopping cart, think twice. 

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