I just found a meme on Facebook that says “1st April: The only day of the year that people critically evaluate things they find on the internet before accepting them as true.”
So what better day to follow April Fool’s than International Fact-Checking Day? I typed that phrase into Google and got 20,100 hits. It even has its own website, https://factcheckingday.com/, which describes Fact-Checking Day as “an annual celebration and rallying cry for more truth in public health, journalism, and everyday life. It is meant to be lighthearted, but practical.” This commemoration is “promoted by the International Fact-Checking Network in partnership with fact-checking organizations around the world. At IFCN, we believe that professional fact-checkers shouldn’t be the only ones debunking false information. A healthy information ecosystem requires everyone to do their part in elevating facts…”
Not surprisingly, the current impetus is the war in Ukraine, which resulted in #UkraineFacts, a collaboration that has seen more than 1,000 fact-checks in the war’s first month. This effort builds upon the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which generated in a searchable database of COVID-19 fact-checks with over 12,000 submissions.
If you see something on social media that doesn’t sound right, or even if it does, it’s usually easy to check. My favorite sites are Politifact (https://www.politifact.com/), FactCheck.org (https://www.factcheck.org/), and Snopes (https://www.snopes.com/). By the way, all accept contributions.
So the resources are out there. It’s just a matter of using them.