Best Tools for Fact-Checking Debates

Best Tools for Fact-Checking Debates

Best Tools for Fact-Checking Debates

Resources like and help voters separate fact and fiction.

Published October 9, 2012

If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, there aren't many people out there who have a lot of faith in the political process. It's very difficult to know what's true and what's false when it comes to the things you hear from any candidate. So as you're watching the rest of the presidential debates this year, keep these online resources handy and you won't have a problem separating fact from fiction. is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The first line of the mission statement makes it plain: "We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics." The website analyzes speeches, debates and other statements made by politicians and political candidates for accuracy and truthfulness.

You can submit questions and check out the "Viral Spiral," where the most widespread Internet rumors are addressed. A breakdown of the first presidential debate's exaggerations and outright false claims is already up on the home page. Follow @factcheckdotorg for real-time Twitter updates.

To enable us to get the facts on the go,, the Pulitzer Prize-winning website run by the Tampa Bay Times, originated the "Truth-O-Meter" online and has now made it mobile. Described by as a "nonpartisan BS meter," this app investigates any and all political public statements, and the Times' fact-checkers proof everything to ensure accuracy.

Politicians' statements are assigned truth ratings that range from "true" to "pants on fire," when someone is just telling a ridiculous tall tale. You can categorize ratings by subject -- e.g., health care, taxes -- and there are some new features for the app that you won't find on the website.

Read the full story at

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Written by Stephanie Humphrey,


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