Can fact-checking solve the misinformation pandemic?

January 12, 2022


The 2009 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting was awarded to PolitiFact, a then-upstart fact-checking initiative, for its coverage of a bruising presidential campaign.

The presentation of journalism’s highest honor to what was then a novel idea — using “probing reporters and the power of the World Wide Web to examine … political claims,” as the award described — marked a turning point for the nascent fact-checking industry...

Fact-checks “reduce false beliefs, full stop,” said Ethan Porter, who leads the Misinformation/Disinformation Lab at George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics. “Compared to someone who has seen the misinformation without a fact-check … people who see just a fact-check are more accurate as a result.”

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