Fact checking websites a useful resource

Published 11:26 am Saturday, October 13, 2018

With the November 2018 mid-term elections a month away and political opinions and semi-factual claims on both sides of the spectrum flooding the airwaves and internet, one very important question remains: Who is telling the truth?

Fortunately for voters, since 2007, there has been a nonpartisan online resource dedicated to fact checking the public statements of both Democratic and Republican politicians. It’s called PolitiFact.

PolitiFact, according to its website, www.politifact.com, began as an election-year project of the Tampa Bay Times, formerly called the St. Petersburg Times. Today, PolitiFact is owned by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the Tampa Bay Times’ parent company. It is funded by financial support from the Tampa Bay Times and through donations, content partnerships, online advertising and grants.

The website rates statements according to its Truth-O-Meter, classifying them as true, mostly true, half true, mostly false, false and pants on fire.

As for remaining nonpartisan, PolitiFact states that its ethics policy requires its journalists to avoid expressing political views on social media and keep their votes on election day to themselves. The policy also includes a prohibition on PolitiFact journalists making political contributions, working on campaigns, signing online petitions or participating in political marches.

Whether you’ve already decided who to vote for this election or you’re still on the fence, we encourage you to research candidates’ statements on PolitiFact and other fact-checking websites so you can make an informed decision come Election Day.