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COVID-19: Avoiding Misinformation and Conducting Credible Research

This guide intends to offer a bit of guidance on where to look for credible information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how to avoid misinformation where possible.

Fact Checking Websites

  • Politifact
    • PolitiFact is owned by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies. PolitiFact had been owned by the Tampa Bay Times, but in 2018 direct ownership of PolitiFact was transferred from the Times to Poynter, which is the newspaper’s parent company. The move allows PolitiFact to function fully as not-for-profit national news organization. Fact-checking and remaining non-partisan are key components of their process and policy. Their use of a "Truth-o-meter" adds a visual element to their analysis.
      • Fact-checking stories and resources, Truth-o-Meter rates claims and statements on a scale of credibility
  • Snopes
    • Started in 1994 as a means to investigate folklore, hoaxes, and urban legends, Snopes has become a broader fact-checking website. According to their methodology, their editorial staff commits varying degrees of time and research to track down original sources of claims made, as well as contacting professionals and experts in relevant fields to assist in their own analysis. 
      • Standardized format of articles explore the Claims/Fact rating/Origin of claim/Secondary and First-hand analysis of each claim make it a useful tool for a researcher to track and sometimes duplicate their process
  • Media Bias Fact Checker
    • MBFC's mission is to educate the public on media bias and deceptive news practices. Their aim is to inspire action and a rejection of overtly biased media. This is a privately owned company, driven primarily by volunteers and third party funding. MBFC uses their own internal algorithms that attempt to highlight biases demonstrated in criteria such as choice in rhetoric, sources, and format. 

      • Fairly granular scales used to demonstrate political leanings in bias, country profiles denoting government influences on media reporting, Lists of websites by categories such as conspiracy/pseduoscience or Satire