A new study on the recent fact-checking trend to separate “fake news” from real reporting found that in the majority of cases, the fact-checkers are just as subject to bias as the news they evaluate.
The report underscored the importance of subjective judgments in the process of fact-checking, amply borne out by numerous examples where fact-checking organizations betray significant political and cultural biases in their assessments.
The results of the study, executed by Daniele Scalea of the Machiavelli Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Rome, were presented Wednesday at the Italian Parliament Wednesday during an academic conference on the topic of fake news and journalism.
Many of the errors proceed from broadening the scope of fact-checking to include statements that express opinion, analysis or prediction.
Since fact-checkers do not limit themselves to appraising objectively verifiable assertions, the study revealed, they pronounce judgments not only about facts, but also about what attacks are fair, what arguments are reasonable, what forecasts are probable, and what language is appropriate.
In the majority of cases, the report continues, fact-checkers weigh the validity of arguments, rather than checking facts. This exercise involves significant space for human error and entails a good dose of subjective opinion, despite the pretension of impartial analysis....
As Joseph Uscinski noted in a 2013 essay, fact-checking “is actually just a veiled continuation of politics by means of journalism.”...Breitbart News
Report: Supposedly Impartial ‘Fact-Checkers’ Driven by Political Prejudices
Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.