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Fact-checking, a vital procedure in the realm of journalism and information sharing, serves to confirm the truthfulness of statements, allegations, and news reports. Its roots can be traced back to the 1850s as a countermeasure to sensationalist journalism, with its evolution significantly shaped by entities such as the Associated Press, Ralph Pulitzer, Henry Luce, and The New Yorker. Fact-checking can occur either before (ante hoc) or after (post hoc) the publication of information, with numerous dedicated organizations and media platforms undertaking this task. In the political arena, fact-checking plays a crucial role, discouraging politicians from disseminating false information and influencing the public’s perception and trust in political statements. Beyond formal settings, fact-checking also permeates informal environments, with individuals and technology aiding in the validation of news and detection of fraudulent news. However, the power of fact-checking alone may not be sufficient to fully tackle misinformation, highlighting the need for its integration into educational syllabuses.

Fact-checking (Wikipedia)

Fact-checking is the process of verifying the factual accuracy of questioned reporting and statements. Fact-checking can be conducted before or after the text or content is published or otherwise disseminated. Internal fact-checking is such checking done in-house by the publisher to prevent inaccurate content from being published; when the text is analyzed by a third party, the process is called external fact-checking.

Research suggests that fact-checking can indeed correct perceptions among citizens, as well as discourage politicians from spreading false or misleading claims. However, corrections may decay over time or be overwhelmed by cues from elites who promote less accurate claims. Political fact-checking is sometimes criticized as being opinion journalism. A review of US politics fact-checkers shows a mixed result of whether fact-checking is an effective way to reduce misconceptions, and whether the method is reliable.

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