Even in Polarized Times, Fact Checking Can Sway Opinion and Eliminate Misinformation.
1. Even in times of sharp partisanship and media distrust, fact checking works. Politicians lie or misspeak, reporters point to the real facts – and 24 hours later the entire cycle is repeated. Many reporters wonder if the elaborate fact-checking apparatus that has been built in the past two decades works. Ethan Porter and Thomas Wood, co-authors of “False Alarm: The Truth About Political Mistruths in the Trump Era,” say it does. Their controlled experiments, which showed real-world fact checks to news consumers, convinced a significantly significant percentage to modify their views. “Fact checks worked – they reduced false beliefs,” Porter said.