Four Moves

Adventures in fact-checking for students

Bias and Agenda

We’ve found sometimes students believe the examples we choose are biased one way or another. Please note it’s a bit of a Catch-22. Many times we show a story that made the rounds of conservative social media that is completely true. Does that mean we support Trump because we are showing the story is true? Or that we’re attacking Trump because we’re choosing to investigate this story instead of something on Nancy Pelosi?

If we share a liberal story that turns out to be half true, does that support Republicans because it’s half false? Or Democrats because it’s half true?

We honestly don’t know. We look at the news making the rounds on any particular day and try to find interesting problems for students to look at. A lot of examples end up being taken from the conservative side of the spectrum because the volume of memes and viral stories and blogs on the right exceeds that on the left. People on the right share more news from more sources, period, both fake and real. Are we pro-Trump because we use many of these examples, and some of them are true? Or anti-Trump because much of what we choose to analyze from the right turns out to be false?

In the end, we like good examples that allow students to use the skills and moves. That’s it. We have biases and political beliefs like everyone else, but these beliefs are secondary to the work we do here. In the words we sometimes use in the course we have personal political biases we try to be aware of, but our work does not have a specific political agenda.

We are always looking to balance out our examples. If you feel certain types of examples are lacking, write up your own examples using our format and relate them to the four moves and a verification or contextualization task. Give them to your teacher to share back to us, and if they are good examples of the moves we’ll put them up and even give you credit if you want it. We are particularly interested in liberal misinformation since the lower share rates around it can make it harder to find. Help us out!


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