Tag Archives: journalism

New fact checking websites of interest to skeptics

True or FalseOver at the INSIGHT blog on Monday, I wrote about how newsrooms and journalism non-profits are increasingly building tools that are of use to skeptics. This is happening because the rise of viral misinformation (driven by social media) has made fact-checking and debunking a key need for journalists.

Skeptics who are not politically active may not frequent sites like Politifact or FactCheck.org, but they are multiplying. A recent survey counted as many as 89 of them worldwide (though some are only active in election years). Even if the political statements being covered there aren’t of interest to you, the sheer fact that fact checking is becoming normalized should be a good thing for skepticism online.

But this brings up another problem – there are so many sites specializing in debunking falsehoods now, how does a diligent skeptic keep up? Perhaps we need a fact checking aggregator! And are any of these sites covering science stories that are the meat and potatoes of skepticism?

I’ve got some good news related to those questions and three new sites to check out.

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Morning Toolbox – October 18, 2012 – Newsweek ditches paper, Stormtroopers not to blame

Morning Toolbox is a daily digest of interesting tools and techniques that skeptics can use online.

I’ve got a small toolbox for you today.

Newspapers and magazines continue to have trouble: Newsweek announced it is ending its print edition as of early next year. Craig Silverman is curating reactions to this using Spundge.

Virtual Skeptics panelist Bob Blaskiewicz has an article on the JREF blog about using RBUTR as an educational tool in the classroom.

Not all skeptical tools succeed. An attempt to rate web site credibility called NewsCred was launched in 2008. The company had to pivot to a different business, providing licensed news feeds to other sites. I guess that went well, because now they’ve bought a competitor.

Just for fun, did you know that Google has had photos inside many public buildings and businesses integrated into Google Maps for some time? This month they decided to join in themselves and post detailed views of their North Carolina data center. If you virtually wander around in there you can find many Easter eggs including a rick roll and a stormtrooper.

Follow me on Twitter at @krelnik.  You can submit stories there or via submit at whatstheharm.net.

Morning Toolbox – October 17, 2012 – Meet, Develop, Disavow

Morning Toolbox is a daily digest of interesting tools and techniques that skeptics can use online.

I’ve pointed out before that journalists seem to be building more tools than skeptics – there are many interesting skeptic-relevant projects coming out of journalism circles. So many, that Knight-Mozilla OpenNews has introduced Source, a hub for all that activity. Developers can share their work, collaborate and so on. I think skeptic developers would be wise to keep an eye on this.

Read on for more news of interest to skeptics working online…

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