Our new Truthsquad pilot
This week, we are excited to announce a new pilot for Truthsquad, the pro-am fact-checking network we are developing with the Center for Public Integrity. As stated in our last update on this blog, we have created a new user experience for fact-checking claims and will be testing it with a weekly truthsquad on our NewsTrust pilot site, through mid-October.
We hope you will participate actively in this short pilot, to help us improve this new service. To get started, can you join the Truthsquad and help fact-check one of these claims? (UPDATED 10-05-2011)
Construction workers are "paying a higher tax rate than somebody pulling in $50 million a year."
By Barack Obama, U.S. president (D)
Is this TRUE or FALSE?
Can you join our truthsquad and help verify this claim? Be sure to read the links to the right of our claim pages and add more links, if you come across any good factual evidence. Also note that we now have a wider range of options for your answers -- as described in the section below. To find out more, read the section below and check our Truthsquad FAQ.
What should we fact-check next? What do you think of our new fact-checking tool? How can we improve this service? Please email us to share your feedback.
We have now concluded our truthsquad of an earlier GOP debate claim by Rick Perry that "the federal government has not engaged in (border security) at all." Our finding: FALSE. We found overwhelming evidence that the federal government has devoted significant resources to stop illegal crossings of the U.S Mexico border, and has dramatically increased its border patrol efforts in recent years.
We also concluded a fact-check of another GOP debate claim by Mitt Romney that President Obama President Obama "went around the world and apologized for America". Our finding: FALSE. We could not find any factual evidence to support this frequent GOP claim about Obama's so-called "apology tour."
We would like to thank all of the NewsTrust members who have contributed to this pilot so far. We really appreciate all of your great insights and hope you are getting as much from this experience as we are. The more we dig together, the more we learn as a community.
If haven't participated yet, give it a try, before our pilot ends next week. It's a really effective way for citizens like us to get better informed about important issues, in collaboration with experienced journalists. Hope to see you on Truthsquad.com!
Our new fact-checking form
Here's a quick guide on how to fact-check a claim on Truthsquad. For more tips, check our FAQ.
1. Check the facts
Before you answer, read the links on the right to learn more about this claim. These related stories are posted by our editors and community, and may provide useful factual evidence on this topic. Some of these links support this claim, some oppose it, others are neutral. The more links you read, review or add, the more your answer will count. To rate these links, click on their 'Review' buttons. Review them carefully for quality, accuracy, fairness and sourcing. To post new links, click Add a link.
2. Rate the claim
Once you have checked the facts and reached a decision, click on the slider to rate this claim: is it true or false? or somewhere in between?
Select 'In progress' if you need more time, 'Not sure' if you can't make up your mind, 'Cannot verify' if you can't find reliable facts to verify this claim, and 'Fiction' if you think this claim is a total fabrication, with no factual evidence at all. Only that last answer counts as a rating, the others are not counted.
Once you've picked an answer, it will be posted on this page, along with other answers from our community. You can change your answer at any time.
3. Add a note
After you've rated the claim, add a note to explain your decision. Focus on facts, not opinions -- and cite your sources. Please be civil (see our guidelines). When you're done, click the 'Save' button. If you like, you can also add a link to factual evidence that support or oppose this claim.
4. Learn more
For more detailed help, check our Truthsquad FAQ.
To learn more about fact checking and journalism, check out these guides:
- Guide to Fact-checking from PolitiFact (video)
- Tools of the Trade from FactCheck.org
- Crap Detection 101 from Howard Rheingold (NewsTrust board member)
- Think Like A Journalist from Michael Bugeja (NewsTrust advisor)
Our goal for this project is to give you new tools for checking information on the web — and help us learn to separate fact from fiction, with the guidance of professionals.
See you on the Truthsquad pilot site!