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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Debunking Fake News

In late December, FactCheck.org agreed to help identify and label viral fake news stories flagged by Facebook users. We are one of several organizations that are part of Facebook’s initiative to combat the spread of viral deceptions.

We are now increasing our efforts with the financial support of Facebook:

  • In recent weeks, we have published an increasing number of stories debunking fake news and we will continue to do so. We now have a link on our homepage (see image below) that directs readers to the stories that we write as part of the Facebook initiative.
  • We now provide a list of websites that have published fake and satirical stories. We will add to that list as we come across more sites.
  • We also provide a guide on how to flag stories on Facebook that you suspect are fake, so that you can help us in our efforts to combat viral deceptions.

For more information on what you can do to educate yourself on viral deceptions, please see the video and story we posted last year on “How to Spot Fake News.”

As longtime readers know, FactCheck.org has been funded by foundation grants and its readers. (See “Our Funding” page for more information, including our quarterly financial reports that list all individual donations of $1,000 or more.)

We do not accept commercial advertising. We do not accept funding from labor unions. We do not accept funding from people actively engaged in partisan politics. We do not accept funding from corporations – with the exception now of Facebook. We made this exception because the Facebook initiative fits our mission “to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”

FactCheck.org has been writing about false viral claims since 2007, when we started Ask FactCheck. In Ask FactCheck, we answer readers’ questions — many of which deal with fake news stories on the internet and bogus claims in viral emails.

It is important to note that Facebook has no control over our editorial content. We determine what we write based on a list of stories flagged by Facebook users and questions sent to editor@factcheck.org by our readers. Our stories are selected, researched, written and edited by our staff without any input from Facebook. After we post our stories debunking fake news, we send links to those articles to Facebook – which can, if it chooses, alert its users to stories that have been disputed by fact-checking organizations, such as ours.

We look forward to providing our readers with more stories and tools that they need to avoid viral deceptions.