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"Journalists cover words and delude themselves into thinking they have committed journalism."-Hedrick Smith
Media frenzy


This wiki is for brainstorming and prototyping how a WikiFactCheck project can provide rapid, crowd-sourced fact checking of news events and verification of factual data.

Current projects:

Documenting Existing efforts as seen at #FactFest (November 2011)

Previous projects: US Election 2010

Obama $200 million a day trip, 2010

Decision Points by George W. Bush

Martin Luther King Jr. quote about Osama Bin Laden

WikiFactcheck was submitted to the Knight News Challenge in 2010, and made it as far as the final round. Please read the proposal there

The project builds on Wikipedia's collaborative culture of maintaining a neutral point of view and using verifiable information from reliable sources to provide an augmented news platform through annotation, correlation and visualization.

Among the initial targets of fact checking include:

  • Political speeches and debates
  • Corporate press conferences
  • Election campaign advertisements
  • Credentials, CVs and matters of historical record
  • US Sunday morning talk shows such as Meet The Press, This Week and Face the Nation (a target of noted critics such as Jay Rosen [1])

Easy ways to start getting involved:

  1. Visit the TO DO list and work on next steps or Join the Village pump discussions
  2. Pitch in to help the project to document Existing efforts in fact checking
  3. Click on a red link to start a page, or find out more on how to edit pages.
  4. Jump in and edit, add or comment on anything here. It's a wiki, after all.
  5. Fact checking resources

Media coverage

Sorted from most recent to oldest

Topics of interest

Possible ideas

  • Congressional credentials - fact check the academic degrees, job experience, military service record of every sitting House and Senate member in Congress.
  • Check the claims of businesses and their products. Does X really reduce high blood pressure? Do 4 out of 5 dentists really recommend? Etc.
  • Add more


With today's networked news audience involved with distributed data gathering, records processing, and field reporting via mobile devices, a new collaborative ecosystem has developed around content creation and curation.

Wikipedia has inspired many other projects from geographical mapping (OpenStreetMaps) to fictional narratives (Lostpedia) while many of its most valuable community practices go relatively unnoticed. The editing community, steeped in a culture of enforcing accurate citations and reliable sources, provides a model for real-time fact checking of news stories, a task too often neglected by mainstream media outlets.

Interested parties

Create an account, and sign below to be informed of developments. Or visit WikiFactCheck:To do and start participating there.


  • Andrew Lih (alih _at_
    An associate professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, Lih is the author of The Wikipedia Revolution: How a bunch of nobodies created the world's greatest encyclopedia. His involvement with Wikipedia started in 2003. He has been a speaker at Wikimania, Wikisym, AEJMC and other conferences related to online journalism and collaboration, and has been a commentator on CNN, BBC, PBS Newshour and NPR.

Getting started

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