Media Bias/Fact Check

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Media Bias/Fact Check
Media Bias Fact Check wordmark.png
Founded2015; 8 years ago (2015)
HeadquartersGreensboro, North Carolina
OwnerDave M. Van Zandt[1] Edit this at Wikidata
Current statusActive

Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC) is an American fact-checking website founded in 2015 by editor Dave M. Van Zandt.[1] It uses a 0–10 scale to rate sites on two areas: bias and factual accuracy. It has been criticised for its methodology and accuracy.[2]


Chart showing the degree of bias rating given to CNN

Van Zandt and his team use a 0–10 scale to rate sites for biased wording, headlines, actuality, sourcing, story choices, and political affiliation. There is a criterion for factual accuracy based on failed fact checks.[3] The group has also sorted hundreds of web pages into the ideological categories of: Left, Left Center, Least Biased, Right Center, and Right.[4] Van Zandt admits he is not an expert and that "his methods are not rigorously objective."[5]


The site has been used by researchers at the University of Michigan to create a tool called the "Iffy Quotient", which draws data from Media Bias/Fact Check and NewsWhip to track the prevalence of "fake news" and questionable sources on social media.[6][7][8]


According to Daniel Funke and Alexios Mantzarlis of the Poynter Institute, "Media Bias/Fact Check is a widely cited source for news stories and even studies about misinformation, despite the fact that its method is in no way scientific."[2] In 2018, the Columbia Journalism Review identified Media Bias/Fact Check as "an armchair media analysis."[9] Additionally, the Columbia Journalism Review described Media Bias/Fact Check as an amateur attempt at categorizing media bias and characterized their assessments as "subjective assessments [that] leave room for human biases, or even simple inconsistencies, to creep in".[3] A study published in Scientific Reports wrote: "While [Media Bias/Fact Check's] credibility is sometimes questioned, it has been regarded as accurate enough to be used as ground-truth for e.g. media bias classifiers, fake news studies, and automatic fact-checking systems."[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About". Media Bias/Fact Check. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  2. ^ a b Funke, Daniel; Mantzarlis, Alexios (December 18, 2018). "Here's what to expect from fact-checking in 2019". Poynter.
  3. ^ a b Tamar Wilner (January 9, 2018). "We can probably measure media bias. But do we want to?". Columbia Journalism Review.
  4. ^ Thomas J. Main (February 1, 2022). "Both the Right and Left Have Illiberal Factions. Which Is More Dangerous?". The Bulwark. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  5. ^ Heffer, Chris (2020-10-01). All Bullshit and Lies?: Insincerity, Irresponsibility, and the Judgment of Untruthfulness. Oxford University Press. p. 103. doi:10.1093/oso/9780190923280.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-092328-0.
  6. ^ Dian Schaffhauser. "U-M Tracker Measures Reliability of News on Facebook, Twitter -- Campus Technology". Campus Technology. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  7. ^ Paul Resnick; Aviv Ovadya; Garlin Gilchrist. "Iffy Quotient: A Platform Health Metric for Misinformation" (PDF). School of Information - Center for Social Media Responsibility. University of Michigan. p. 5.
  8. ^ Ramy Baly; Georgi Karadzhov; Dimitar Alexandrov; James Glass; Preslav Nakov (2018). "Predicting Factuality of Reporting and Bias of News Media Sources". Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing. Brussels, Belgium: Association for Computational Linguistics. pp. 3528–3539.
  9. ^ Albarracin, Dolores; Albarracin, Julia; Chan, Man-pui Sally; Jamieson, Kathleen Hall (2021). Creating Conspiracy Beliefs: How Our Thoughts Are Shaped. Cambridge University Press. p. 130. doi:10.1017/9781108990936. ISBN 978-1-108-84578-6. S2CID 244413957.
  10. ^ Chołoniewski, Jan; Sienkiewicz, Julian; Dretnik, Naum; Leban, Gregor; Thelwall, Mike; Hołyst, Janusz A. (2020). "A calibrated measure to compare fluctuations of different entities across timescales". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 20673. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-77660-4. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 7691371. PMID 33244096.

External links[edit]