PolitiFact

PolitiFact.com is an American nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, with offices there and in Washington, D.C. It began in 2007 as a project of the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times), with reporters and editors from the newspaper and its affiliated news media partners reporting on the accuracy of statements made by elected officials, candidates, their staffs, lobbyists, interest groups and others involved in U.S. politics.[1] Its journalists evaluate original statements and publish their findings on the PolitiFact.com website, where each statement receives a "Truth-O-Meter" rating. The ratings range from "True" for statements the journalists deem as accurate to "Pants on Fire" (from the taunt "Liar, liar, pants on fire") for claims the journalists deem as false or ludicrous.

PolitiFact.com
Type of site
fact-checking website
OwnerTampa Bay Times (2007–2018)
Poynter Institute (2018–present)
URLpolitifact.com
CommercialYes
LaunchedAugust 2007; 14 years ago (2007-08)
Current statusActive

PunditFact, a related site that was also created by the Times' editors, is devoted to fact-checking claims made by political pundits.[2] Both PolitiFact and PunditFact were funded primarily by the Tampa Bay Times and ad revenues generated on the website until 2018, and the Times continues to sell ads for the site now that it is part of Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a non-profit organization that also owns the newspaper. PolitiFact increasingly relies on grants from several nonpartisan organizations, and in 2017 launched a membership campaign and began accepting donations from readers.[3]

In addition to political claims, the site monitors the progress elected officials make on their campaign promises, including a "Trump-O-Meter" for President Donald Trump and an "Obameter" for President Barack Obama. PolitiFact.com's local affiliates review promises by elected officials of regional relevance, as evidenced by PolitiFact Tennessee's "Haslam-O-Meter" tracking Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam's efforts[4] and Wisconsin's "Walk-O-Meter" tracking Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's efforts.[5]

PolitiFact has won the Pulitzer Prize,[6] and has been both praised and criticized by independent observers, conservatives and liberals alike. Both liberal and conservative bias have been alleged at different points, and criticisms have been made that PolitiFact attempts to fact-check statements that cannot be truly "fact-checked".[7][8] Several critics have argued that PolitiFact’s style of “fact-checking” purports to adjudicate whether a particular statement is factually true or false but instead launders biased opinion analysis by making non-factual interpretive and judgment calls, typically in a manner favorable to liberals and the Democratic Party and hostile to conservatives and Republicans.[9][10][11][12]


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