Friday, January 27, 2012

Pants on fire

I was checking out PolitiFact’s Twitter feed last night as I watched the GOP debate….

What is PolitiFact, you ask?
“PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partners to help you find the truth in politics.”
Basically, they go out and examine statements made by US politicians and “anyone else who speaks up in American politics” to see whether or not the statements are true.
The best part of it all is how PolitiFact rates the accuracy of what politicians say—they use a highly scientific tool called the Truth-O-Meter.

The Truth-O-Meter uses a scale consisting of:

Mostly True
Half True
Mostly False
Pants on Fire (my favourite)
I thought a blog post about Truth-O-Meter was timely given the focus we’ve had this week on critical thinking and media law. Does this sound familiar, CreComms?:

Truth-O-Meter is based on the concept that – especially in politics - truth is not black and white.

PolitiFact writers and editors spend considerable time researching and deliberating on our rulings. We always try to get the original statement in its full context rather than an edited form that appeared in news stories. We then divide the statement into individual claims that we check separately.
When possible, we go to original sources to verify the claims. We look for original government reports rather than news stories. We interview impartial experts.”

It’s a website worth checking out, and one that I would spend more time looking at if I had those extra four hours in my day…

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