Saturday, October 7, 2017

Miami New Times: "How PolitiFact Got Its "Fake News" Tag Wrong on Occupy Democrats"

This is not a post highlighting PolitiFact's left-leaning bias.

This is a post serving to remind us that PolitiFact often operates in a slipshod manner.

The Miami New Times came out with a story on Oct. 2, 2017 rightly panning PolitiFact for miscategorizing "Occupy Democrats" as fake news.

Sure, Occupy Democrats publishes false stories. But the folks at PolitiFact (and others in the fact-checking clique) bang the drum reminding everybody that fake news is the publication of deliberately false stories. That's made-up stuff, not just mistakenly or stupidly wrong.

Despite that, PolitiFact listed Occupy Democrats on its page of fake news sources.
(W)hen New Times asked why PolitiFact had classified the liberal Facebook-based news empire Occupy Democrats as "Fake News" in its Fake News Almanac, the site admitted Occupy Democrats should never have been on the list in the first place. The misclassification highlights the difficulty of judging fake news, even for the pros, and raises questions about the reliability of the almanac.
 The New Times obtained a predictable excuse from the PolitiFact's Joshua Gillin:
(Gillin said) the site should not have been included in the almanac because the majority of its posts reviewed by PolitiFact were not designated as fake news, and the two that were deemed fake news date to 2016. For a whole site to be classified as fake news, he said, it must regularly make a "deliberate attempt to mislead."
PolitiFact took Occupy Democrats off the list after getting challenged on its inclusion. But one advantage PolitiFact obtains by making its fake news site almanac an embed instead of a published article stems from canceling its responsibility to issue a correction notice.

Obviously there's neither a need nor responsibility to note corrections made to embedded content right, right?

Just call it the embedded content loophole.


  1. Yes, I came to this site after several highly questionable PolitiFact ratings I have seen. I do not believe PolitiFact is a reputable rating system and will ignore all of their ratings in the future.

    1. PolitiFact's problems are deeper than its ratings.

      But that's a start.


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