Digital Disinformation

Fact Checking Websites

European Union

Danish
English
  • East StratCom Task Force (Twitter: @EUvsDisinfo), Focus: Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns
  • Kremlin Watch, a weekly monitor of pro-Kremlin disinformation efforts in Europe by Czech-based think-tank »European Values«. Focus: Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns
French
  • »La machine à décoder«: Developed by Les Décodeurs (Twitter: @decodeurs), the verification and fact-checking unit at Le Monde and introduced during the first center-right primary debate in France, let users fact-check in real-time claims made by the debaters
  • Décodex: This tool lets you check the reliability of a website. Décodex outputs one of five recommendations:
    • Non-classifiable: The site is not a reliable information source in itself, e.g. social networks (Twitter, Google+, etc.).
    • Read with caution: The site has satirical or parody content, e.g. The Onion, Gorafi.
    • Non-reliable: The site contains numerous misleading and false information, conspiracy theories.
    • Partly-reliable: The site makes an effort, but doesn't specify its sources, is often imprecise, biased, partisan. Complement your research with other sources.
    • Reliable: The site tries to be transparent as to its source, corrects errors. Applies mostly to the media and public institutions. Still good to check other sources a well.
German
Swedish

Non-EU

Misc

  • HoaxEye (Twitter @HoaxEye), a blog about identifying fake or hoax pictures, defining a fake as a picture that is modified (»photoshopped«), and a hoax as a picture that is not necessarily modified, but taken out of context. Fake and hoax pictures are often used for propaganda and disinformation, but also for other purposes like increasing popularity in social media.

General Guidance

Browser Extensions

B.S. Detector

The B.S. Detector tells you whether a site is a reliable source by comparing it to a pre-compiled list of domains. It then informs you by means of a visual warning about the classification of the site. Currently eight classifications ranging from »Fake News« over »Extreme Political Bias« and »Conspiracy Theory« to »Junk Science« and »Hate Group« are used.

The domain list can be seen here. B.S. Detector is available for Google Chrome/Chromium. This add-on is presently undergoing development and should not be regarded as a fully developed product.

Media Bias/Fact Check

Similar to the B.S. Detector Media Bias/Fact Check compares the website you are visiting to a list of locally (i.e. on your device) stored domains. It then displays an icon in your browser window indicating the bias the site you are visiting, i.e. Conspiracy-Pseudoscience, Right Bias, Left Bias, Satire, etc.

The list is available from the author's homepage and will be automatically updated on your device. It is compiled automatically by crawling »Media Bias/Fact Check«, a »site that categorizes many popular news sources into categories across the political spectrum«.

This add-on is available for both Google Chrome/Chromium and Firefox. As far as I know it does not collect personally identifiable data other than your IP address when updating the list.

FiB

FiB verifies status updates, images, or links using image recognition, keyword extraction, and source verification. It does so by making extensive use of third party services. That means that these services will have knowledge of a number of data that you might want to keep to yourself such as: your IP address, your operating system, the browser and other add-ons you are using, the websites you visit. From a data protection perspective FiB is not a good choice.

FiB is currently not available in the Chrome Store.

RealDonaldContext

RealDonaldContext is a browser extension available for Firefox and Google Chrome. It is developed by the Washington Post to provide fact-checking and additional context to the not-quite-accurate tweets of the 45th President of the USA.

Ongoing Projects

ContentCheck

ContentCheck is an automated fact-checking project by French data scientists. It »brings together academic labs with expertise in data management, natural language processing, automated reasoning and data mining, and a fact-checking team of journalists from a major French Web media«. The aim is to build a search engine to help spot hoaxes and flag fake news sites as well as to build a reliability index for news sites which will warn readers that an article they are looking for comes from a dubious source. The project recently obtained funding from Google's Digital News Initiative.

FullFact

The British non-profit FullFact aspires to develop an automated fact-checking tool that, for instance, enables journalists to challenge inaccurate claims in real-time. Google’s Digital News Initiative recently provided funding to the project.