If you’ve been paying attention for the last year or so, you’ve probably heard a lot about fake news, and probably come across a lot of it yourself. Though not all of it is political, the politics tend to be what freak people out the most. Generally these “news” stories can be proven wrong just by looking at more than one source, but unfortunately people don’t always do that, or they feel they can’t trust any news outlets. Luckily, there are a few tools you can use to be your own personal fact checker, and you can do it all from your phone.
1. PolitiFact’s Settle It!: This app allows you to look at different subjects and get the actual facts about statements regarding those subjects. The little meter at the top of the claim page will show whether the statement is true or not.
For example, we searched “Planned Parenthood” and found US Rep Carolyn Maloney’s claim that “more than half of Planned Parenthood facilities are in rural or medically underserved areas.” When we tapped on the claim, more info popped up, with a meter pointing at “true” at the top.
Settle It! is an easy way to make sure you’re getting the facts, and the handy visual meter definitely helps if you’re looking for a quick answer. You can also take the weekly PolitiFact Challenge, where you’re tested on your knowledge of political claims — great for keeping yourself in the know!
2. GlennKessler: Glenn Kessler is a diplomatic correspondent and the writer of Washington Post‘s “Fact Checker” column. This app rates political claims using “Pinocchios” — yes, like that Pinocchio.
Claims get one Pinocchio for having no “outright falsehoods,” two for “significant omissions or other exaggerations,” three for “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions,” and four for outright lies.
Rarely, a claim can get what’s called a “Geppetto Checkmark” for being “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” You won’t see many of those, but when you do you can be satisfied that the claim is absolutely true.
DL It: Free on iOS
3. Google: Now when you search certain claims on Google, they’ll come up with a little blurb under the headline that says something like “Fact check by PolitiFact: Mostly True” or “Fact check by Washington Post: Four Pinocchios.”
For example, when we typed in “Did Hillary Clinton win the popular vote?” and hit Search, the first result was from Snopes.com and reported the fact check to be a mixture of results. So if you find yourself not wanting to download any more apps to your phone, you can always just use a good old Google search.
It won’t work for every claim — if you want to go more in depth, we’d definitely recommend one of those apps — but it’ll give you results on the big ones.
How do you fact check? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Feature photo via Getty)