Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Facebook comments show the dire need for the PolitiFact Bias website

Over the past few days, we received a number of comments on our Facebook page that help show the dire need for our work.

We are not identifying the person by name, though we expect it's easy to find on our page. It's a public page and the comments were posted in response to our public posts on our page. In short, it's public.

We discourage any attempt to harass this person or make contact with them against their wishes.

Beyond that, we offer thanks for the comments because we can use them to help educate others. We're using quotation marks but correcting errors without making them obvious. So the quotations are not always verbatim.

We're spotlighting these comments because they are so typical of our critics.

"Politifact Bias skews all its fact checking in favor of Republicans. And lies to boot."

If anyone thinks we skew or lie about anything, we're perfectly open to hearing the specifics. We'll either answer the criticism or make changes. 

Our critic never backed either of these charges. We created the "PolitiFact Bias is biased" post in response to the charge we are biased.

"The only ones backing you up are Alex Jones, Hannity and Faux News. I will start checking on every story and compare it to reliable sources, PolitiFact being the most reliable."

We will quote our reply from Facebook in response:
Interesting. We're not aware of any backing at all we've received from Alex Jones, Hannity or Fox News. Can you substantiate any of what you say with evidence?

We applaud your decision to start checking every story. But if you're using PolitiFact as your benchmark of reliability you're doing it wrong. Check PolitiFact's sources and see if it reports them correctly. That's what we do.
Our critic has hit on the right approach: Check on every story, and start figuring out what sources do the best job reporting. But don't assume PolitiFact is the most reliable.

"Snide remarks makes me a lot less likely to take anything you say seriously. Ad hominem insults are typical of 45 supporters, simply because they haven't got a leg to stand on. You accuse PolitiFact of being soft on Liberals while you favor the far right."

We're guessing our snide remark was our temperate reply to another critic who suggested the existence of rocks refuted one of our posts. Unfortunately the critic we're featuring in this post apparently does not understand the ad hominem fallacy. Attacking the argument is not the same as attacking the person. We mocked the existence of rocks argument by suggesting we might answer it with the existence of water. That's not ad hominem fallacious or otherwise. We do not spend any time at PolitiFact Bias supporting President Trump except to defend him (among many others) from incompetent or biased fact-checking.

"Absolutely (I can support what I say with evidence). I will Google every source I previously looked up. Names dates lol. Can you back up anything you have said? You said Politifact seems to have an easier time discerning the underlying point for the liberals. Based on what? You don't win awards for accurate reporting by lying and leaning to the left. As far as I know you haven't won any awards."

You've got to hand it to somebody who says they can back up what they say after which they do not back what they say. But then they proceed to ask you to back up what you say.  We have no problem holding up our end of the bargain.

We based our judgment that PolitiFact finds it easier to discern the underlying point of liberals based on a good number of examples we've written about at the PolitiFact Bias website, and in particular the post link to which our critic replied. We can detect no evidence in our critic's words that they read the post.

As for awards, no we haven't won any. I suppose we could start giving ourselves a few awards in mockery of the way mainstream journalists shower recognition on themselves. As for PolitiFact's awards, we're not aware of any awards it has received for accurate reporting. Some people assume that awards like the Pulitzer Prize represent an endorsement of PolitiFact's accuracy. But we've posted showing that isn't the case.

Awards tend to count for nothing. Actually checking PolitiFact for accuracy shows PolitiFact for what it is.

"Media Bias/Fact Check says Politifact is least biased. Factual reporting: very high."

There's a post at PolitiFact Bias for that: "Can you trust what Media Bias/Fact Check says about PolitiFact?" The short answer is "no."

"They have won a Pulitzer, where is yours?"

We're pretty sure we're not eligible for a Pulitzer Prize, and we've never bothered entering our work in the competition. The Pulitzer organization accepts fees in return for considering entrants in its contest. But on the bright side(!), since 2011 when PolitiFact Bias was first created PolitiFact and PolitiFact Bias have won exactly the same number of Pulitzer Prizes (0).

Not that a Pulitzer Prize confers credibility or anything. We've already covered that.

"I couldn't find anything on your organization at all because you just added the world bias to PolitiFact."

There's a FAQ for that. We're transparent. There is no organization per se. We're just two folks who are sincerely critical of PolitiFact's fact-checking. We don't run ads and we receive no support from the Koch brothers or anybody else. And when our criticisms result in changes to PolitiFact's fact checks they are always careful not to mention us by nam

"The only source I found questioning Politifact, besides yours, was The Federalist."

Oh! But regular readers of PolitiFact Bias would know that PolitiFact has been criticized by Rachel Maddow, Paul Krugman and Slate, just for starters!

Our critic made a few additional comments criticizing the Federalist and warning us to keep our distance on Facebook (the person was commenting on content we posted to our "PolitiFact Bias" page). And blocked us so we wouldn't have to worry about seeing any evidence backing any of our critic's charges against us.

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