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Fact checking by the numbers

Adam Oxford
Adam Oxford

Turns out you don’t have to be a paid bullshit-sniffer to recognise a stench when you smell one. A new study by MIT researchers suggests that there’s wisdom in the crowds when it comes to fact-checking. By throwing news and misinformation at mechanical turks and comparing their collective opinion against professional fact-checkers, they found that “A relatively small number of laypeople can produce an aggregate judgment, given only the headline and lede of an article, that approximates the individual judgments of professional fact-checkers”. Still, the authors point out, that doesn’t mean that there’s no role for the professionals – just that crowdsourcing is looking like a good tool that can be trusted for some verification. Read it here.

Adam Oxford
  • Adam Oxford is a freelance journalist, media consultant and civic tech enthusiast. He also works closely with startups developing solutions to access to justice problems.

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