The Nevada Independent and Gigafact team up to correct misinformation online
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
— Winston Churchill
One of the questions I am most frequently asked by Indy readers and concerned citizens is how newsrooms can more effectively correct misinformation when and where it appears. From Politifact to FactCheck.org to our own Honest Abe rating scale (fun while it lasted but no longer in service), the aim to shine truth on false claims is not new — and not easy in the din of today’s noisy political battlefields, which frequently are littered with half-truths, lies and propaganda.
In an effort to further honor our mission of providing unbiased truth and transparency, The Nevada Independent has teamed up with Gigafact to participate in a 90-day rapid response pilot project designed to intercept and correct false claims about the upcoming election and policy matters. Also participating in the pilot are the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting and Wisconsin Watch.
The effort consists of swiftly identifying claims circulating on social media, writing no-frills, well-sourced fact briefs to confirm or correct the record, and getting the information quickly seen by the public — whether on internet search pages or on social media platforms where misinformation often circulates. We also are logging every fact check we produce on our site.
Additionally, we soon will be translating our fact briefs into Spanish.
Every fact check begins with a question rooted in a claim made online. Example: “Did Steve Sisolak order two new jets when he called for COVID-19 shutdowns?”
Note that the fact check is clear, detailed but concise, and cites the credible sources relied upon.
The bulk of Gigafact’s funding to date has come from Repustar, an affiliated public benefit corporation dedicated to building solutions to combat misinformation, and from a variety of private philanthropists. Once the pilot project concludes, The Nevada Independent and Gigafact will assess its effectiveness. If results are as hoped, and if Gigafact is successful in raising funds, we very likely will look to extend the partnership and hire a full-time fact checker in 2023.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out — and you can suggest a fact check here, any time.