Fact Checking Sites Can Be Both Positive and Negative

Here is a short, over simplification to easily see why we all need to be careful when we are using fact checking sites to form an opinion on anything.

Two people write an article on a high school boys basketball team highlighting the following points to reinforce their own view.

Article 1: Bouncy Ball Team of 2020 is a Leading Team Both On and Off the Court

Highlighted points are as follows: 5 wins 1 loss in their conference so far this year, Player 10 is leading in the state with the highest average points per game, Player 38 is in the top 5 in the state for assists and in the top 20 in points per game. Off the court, the team has done three fund raisers for charitable organizations in their community.

Article 2: Bouncy Ball Team of 2020 Should Be Penalized For Behavior Both On and Off the Court.

Highlighted points are as follows: 5 wins 1 loss in conference games so far this year with 0 wins and 6 losses in nonconference games. The team only shows up for conference games. Player 10 was driving too fast, lost control of his vehicle on the turn, and ran into a daycare playground demolishing all of it’s playground equipment. Player 38 has missed 20 days of school classes the first semester alone and should no longer be allowed to play sports until his classwork is completed.

Here is the rest of the story:

The stats in both stories are correct. The nonconference games which were lost were playing against larger school districts in a different class. Player 10 was doing 5mph over the speed limit when he came upon the curve where he had to turn. His brakes failed. No one was harmed and the daycare replaced their old equipment that had been demolished with new equipment paid for be the three fund raisers put on by the team. Player 38 missed 20 days of school classes this year while finishing medical treatments at the very beginning of the school year. He is now medically cleared to play sports and 90 percent caught up on his classwork.

Both articles are factually correct. A fact checker would claim them both as true. Neither article represented the team or situation in its entirety. If you read one of these articles and fact checked the article, would you even bother to read the other article? If you read several articles by writer one with their viewpoint, would you REALLY listen at all or read anything by writer 2? Some people will, some people will not. Even if you read both articles, do you have the whole story? No, you do not. Fact Checking sites are useful to point out obvious lies and mistruths. They are not good to form opinions. Do not rely on fact checking sites and one side of any story to form your view. Do your own research. Read both sides. Ask questions. Do not be a sheep for any one side.

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