A resource compiled by Center for Inquiry Tampa Bay by Rick O’Keefe
extensively revised & extended 2020-01-05
Please note that some top-rated NEWS
journalism reportage sources are NOT so-rated for
science journalism. See the commentary here: http://bit.ly/2T0N4gF
Quackwatch, byStephen Barrett, M.D., Consumer Advocate
(Quackwatch is an affiliate of Center for Inquiry)
287 Fearrington Post
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Telephone: 919 533-6009
|health fraud and quackery||http://www.quackwatch.org|
|guide to questionable theories and practices||http://www.allergywatch.org|
|skeptical guide to acupuncture history, theories, and practices||http://www.acuwatch.org|
|guide to autism||http://www.autism-watch.org|
|guide to intelligent treatment||http://www.cancertreatmentwatch.org|
|skeptical guide to chiropractic history, theories, and practices||http://www.chirobase.org|
|guide to health-related education and training||http://www.credentialwatch.org|
|guide to dental care||http://www.dentalwatch.org|
|guide to questionable medical devices||http://www.devicewatch.org|
|guide to weight-control schemes and rip-offs||http://www.dietscam.org|
|guide to the fibromyalgia marketplace||http://www.fibrowatch.org|
|guide to homeopathy||http://www.homeowatch.org|
|guide to trustworthy health information||http://www.ihealthpilot.org|
|guide to an equitable health-care system||http://www.insurancereformwatch.org|
|guide to infomercials||http://www.infomercialwatch.org|
|guide to the mental help marketplace||http://www.mentalhealthwatch.org|
|skeptical guide to naturopathic history, theories, and practices||http://www.naturowatch.org|
|activities of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)||http://www.nccamwatch.org|
|nutrition facts and fallacies||http://www.nutriwatch.org|
|guide to the drug marketplace and lower prices||http://www.pharmwatch.org|
|National Council Against Health Fraud archive||http://www.ncahf.org|
|guide to telemarketing scams||http://www.stop-robocalls.org|
|consumer health sourcebook||http://www.chsourcebook.com|
Editor, Consumer Health Digest http://www.quackwatch.org/00AboutQuackwatch/chd.html
An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural by James “The Amazing” Randi
Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X Y Z The remarkable magician, debunker, and researcher James Randi writes: “At long we’re able to get this Encyclopedia up online. It’s created with David Joffe‘s dictionary compilation software TshwaneLex, and it’s a labor of love on the part of my good friend Gilles-Maurice de Schryver. We are very grateful for their generous donation of talent, time, and dedication. Thank you, folks.” This listing contains the entire text of An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. This Internet version will contain many more illustrations than the printed one, and as time goes on, we intend to add more categories and definitions, as well. If you have any suggestions along this line, we invite them eagerly. Please be sure that what you offer us is “in tune” with the subjects we handle, and when possible, give us a reference for the item. This online edition replaces the previous one of Stephen J. Goodson, to whom our sincere thanks are also due. Thanks too to Sean Schricker who proofread the initial batch of data that was imported into TshwaneLex. I hope that you will enjoy this Internet version, and will return to it often for information, entertainment, and perhaps for research purposes. You are free to quote from it, providing full source credit is provided. —— James Randi The James Randi Educational Foundation
The best non-partisan news & political fact-checking sites
Politifact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times. It won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 election, during which it examined 750 claims.
Politifactfact checks claims by politicians at the federal, state, and local level, as well as political parties, PACs, and advocacy groups. Politifact rates the accuracy of these claims on its Truth-O-Meter, which goes from “True,” “Mostly True,” “Half True,” “False,” and “Pants on Fire.” There are separate verticals of Politifact for global news and select states.
FactCheck.org is the oldest of the big three fact-checking sites; it launched in 2003. The site is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The site fact-checks claims made by president, members of Congress, presidential candidates, and other members of the political arena. It mainly reviews TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. The site’s stated goal is to “apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.”
Eugene Kiely of FactCheck.org says the organization has “never seen anything” like Trump in its 13 years of operation. FactCheck.org reviews the year’s most egregious false claims in an annual “Whoppers of the Year” story. From Kiely:
In 2015, we recognized that Trump had an unusually large number of false claims and that in some instances he would double down on his false claims and insist they were true—even when us and others have proven him wrong. As a result, we named him the ‘King of the Whoppers.’ It was the first time we have ever done it, and we hope the last.
2a) Viral Spiral
Spiral is a section of FactCheck.org devoted to
internet rumors. “We get a lot of questions from readers asking us to fact
check claims that they read on the internet. Hundreds a day,” Kiely noted.
“It’s discouraging that the internet is used by some to spread misinformation,
but on the other hand, the internet provides the resources people need to
debunk bogus claims. So it is a double-edged sword. People need to be skeptical
of what they read on the internet and use it to check on claims that they
suspect may be wrong.”
3) Washington Post‘s Fact Checker
The Post‘s Fact Checker blog is run by journalist Glenn Kessler. The site assesses claims made by politicians or political advocacy groups and gives out Pinochios based on its level of accuracy.
According to Kessler, one of the most widely read Fact Checker columns was a debunking of the Sean Hannity-backed claim that Trump lent his private plane to transport 200 Gulf War Marines back home.
A separate vertical, FlackCheck.org, focuses on false claims in campaign ads and other advertising. The site debunks scientific and health claims.
OpenSecrets, also known as the Center for Responsive Politics, tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. It allows you to easily track campaign spending and contributions without laboring through the Federal Election Commission’s website. OpenSecrets also tracks the money that the private sector, industry groups, unions, and other lobbyists spend to lobby Congress.
The Sunlight Foundation is a nonprofit that led the way for public accountability data journalism. Its Hall of Justice offers state-by-state data sets on criminal justice.This extensive site is invaluable for persons studying governments’ functioning and changes. “Keep your eyes on your politicians and governments.”
Snopes.com is the go-to destination for debunking strange internet rumors. California couple Barbara and David Mikkelson founded the site in 1995 to uncover urban legends, rumors, and other questionable bits of folklore that had begun cropping up in chain emails and message boards.
Snopes has spent a large chunk of its time shedding light on Election 2016 rumors that originated from memes and fake news stories. A recent Snopes.com fact check revealed that a meme stating that all living ex-presidents are against Trump is not entirely true (though reports have emerged that George W.H. Bush will be voting for Clinton). Snopes.com also laid to rest a rumor that Clinton sent a body double in her place to a 9/11 memorial service, which reached momentum after #HillarysBodyDouble began to trend on Twitter.
World-renowned, The Poynter
Institute is not a true fact checking
service. They are however a leader in distinguished journalism and produce
nothing but credible evidence-based content. If Poynter reports it, you can
count on it being true. Poynter Institute for Media Studies, 801 7th
Street South in St. Petersburg, Florida.
8) Flack Check
Headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, Flack Check is the political literacy companion site to the award-winning FactCheck.org. The site provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and particularly in political ads.
Very similar to Snopes, Truth or Fiction tends to focus more on political rumors and hoaxes.
10) Hoax Slayer
Hoax Slayer debunks or validates internet rumors and hoaxes; Fact checks email and social media hoaxes, scams and identity theft.
11) Vote Smart
This is an excellent resource. Vote Smart reports on available facts about politicians at national and state levels. Everything you need to know to be able to be an informed voter.
From the Tampa Bay Times. Researches and rates the
accuracy of claims by “… pundits, columnists, bloggers, political
analysts, the hosts and guests of talk shows, and other members of the
media.” PunditFact is a project of
@PolitiFact, @TB_Times, @Poynter to fact-check media
figures and their guests.
Fact Checking Resources – Provides fact-checked answers to widely asked questions and the reliable sources they used to find those answers. Topics covered are: Immigration, Healthcare, Economy, Campaigns & Voting, Records, Social Media Users, Social Media and Web Content, Photos and Video, Crime Public Health, and Climate Change.
(Indiana University’s Center for Complex Networks and System Research). Creates visuals that document the spread over time of articles, hoaxes, rumors, conspiracy theory, satire, as well as factual reports and fact checking articles. Includes account names and original tweets/retweets, as well as links to the original article. Watch a How It Works tutorial.
The Observatory on Social Media (previously known as Truthy) is a research project at Indiana University about the spread of information and misinformation in social media
16) Full Fact (Great Britain & Europe)
Full Fact fights bad information. We’re a team of independent fact-checkers and campaigners who find, expose and counter the harm it does. The Full Fact Toolkit
18) Guide to Misinformation and Fact-Checking
Thanks to Winston Christensen, Outreach Coordinator of Ohio University Online Master’s Program, for sharing with CFI Tampa Bay this excellent resource for your perusal: https://onlinemasters.ohio.edu/masters-public-administration/guide-to-misinformation-and-fact-checking/.
“The best way to counter fake news is to conduct your own research. Through this guide, you’ll learn the basics about misinformation and fake news, how to evaluate sources of information, where to find reputable information, and where to look for fact-checking tools.
Find world fact-checkers near you
International organizations verified by The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN):
Africa: Africa Check
Australia: The Conversation FactCheck; RMIT ABC Fact Check
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Istinomjer
Brazil: Aos Fatos; Agência Lupa; Agência Pública – Truco
France: France 24 Les Observateurs; Le Monde Décodeurs; Libération Désintox
Ireland: TheJournal.ie Fact Check
Italy: Pagella Politica
Georgia: FactCheck Georgia
Northern Ireland: FactCheck Northern Ireland
Portugal: Observador Fact Check
Spain: El Objetivo
Turkey: Dogruluk Payi; Teyit.org
USA: AP Fact Check; Climate Feedback; Factcheck.org; PolitiFact; Snopes; The Washington Post Fact Checker
Nonpartisan Fact-Checking Websites Outside the US:
Duke Reporter’s Lab – Duke University. Their fact-checking database links to over “…100 non-partisan organizations around the world that…assess the accuracy of statements made by public officials, political parties, candidates, journalists, news organizations, associations and other groups.” Includes several dozen fact-checking sites in the US.
EU vs Disinformation: A site from the European Union, created to challenge disinformation coming out of Russia.
Full Fact – A nonprofit, independent fact-checking organization based in the UK.
Africa Check – Produces reports in English and French testing claims made by African public figures, institutions and the media against the best available evidence.
Chequeado – Created by the nonprofit La Voz Pública Foundation. Verifies statements made by public figures and other opinion-forming institutions, and classifies them, from true to false.
Media bias fact-checking sites
These sites are “industry standard” with a high reputation for accuracy among legitimate news organizations, professional journalists, and educational institutions. These sites are not liked by propagandists and political hacks.
Media Bias/Fact Check An extensive research site for deep digs. We are the most comprehensive media bias resource on the internet. There are currently 2800+ media sources listed in our database and growing every day. Don’t be fooled by Fake News sources. Use the search feature above (Header) to check the bias of any source. Use name or URL.
Questionable Sources – a database maintained by Media Bias/Fact Check. A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source.
AllSides – AllSides strengthens our democracy with balanced news, diverse perspectives, and real conversation. We expose people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world — and each other. Our balanced news coverage, media bias ratings, civil dialogue opportunities, and technology platform are available for everyone and can be integrated by schools, nonprofits, media companies, and more.
GALILEO@UGA – Guides
created by UGA librarians to help you find the best resources for your
research! Among which:
http://guides.libs.uga.edu/factchecknews – An excellent compendium and guide to fact checking and the media. Examine all the modules:DIY: Fact Checking Organizations & Bias Raters
A list created by Dr. Jonathan Jarry at https://jonathanjarry.com/links/
(Des liens vers des ressources francophones sont publiés plus bas!)
“I’m sometimes asked for names of people and
organizations who do good work separating sense from nonsense on matters of health.
The following is not an exhaustive list but a starting point. If you’re hungry
for more, you can see whom I follow on Twitter (though not everyone I follow
spreads good information; I have to keep an eye out on Dr. Oz and his ilk, you
A website dedicated to providing an up-to-date critical analysis of pseudosciences like acupuncture and homeopathy and to criticizing bad studies in medicine. Coverage of the infiltration of alternative medicine in academia; book and movie reviews; articles about bad science in pediatrics and dentistry; and posts on how critical thinking skills can be applied to healthcare. Some of the posts seem to be written more for fellow healthcare professionals than a non-expert public, but well worth bookmarking. If it’s a health fad, they’ve probably covered it. Website: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org
Quite possibly the best known critic of health-related pseudoscience in Canada. Health policy expert by day, writer and TV show host by night, and Twitterer… well, seemingly 24 hours a day.
Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12850570-the-cure-for-everything?from_search=true
book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23232032-is-gwyneth-paltrow-wrong-about-everything?from_search=true
TV Show (now on Netflix!): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7532396/
McGill Office for Science and Society
Bias alert: I work there. For nearly 20 years, this (possibly one of a kind) office at McGill University, under the direction of Joe Schwarcz, Ph.D., has debunked quackery, investigated questionable claims, and provided the public with fun facts about chemistry.
Cracked Science on YouTube:
Dr. Joe’s column in the Montreal Gazette: http://montrealgazette.com/author/joe-schwarcz-special-to-the-montreal-gazette
Dr. Joe’s radio show: https://soundcloud.com/cjad800/sets/dr-joe-schwarcz-show
Michael Marshall, The Good Thinking Society, and the Merseyside Skeptics Society
A fantastic network of resources from the United Kingdom on critical thinking and skeptical activism. They showed the world that “homeopathy, there’s nothing in it”; they pressured the government in England to stop funding it; and they continue to impress by being active defenders of good thinking.
The Good Thinking Society: https://goodthinkingsociety.org
Healthy But Smart
A website that looks into common health claims (does chamomille have any health benefits?) by essentially conducting systematic reviews of the evidence. Their in-depth coverage of the evidence makes good use of highlights and “bottom line” conclusions, and they are very transparent in the studies they looked at. Some of their articles tend to be overly generous with regards to lower-quality evidence but overall, well worth a look!
An incredible website dedicated to investigating rumours on the Internet. Did the American government admit that the flu shot was the most dangerous vaccine in America? Did this woman break her neck twerking? Did a brain-eating amoeba kill a woman who rinsed her sinuses with tap water? Basically, if your question is, “Is it true? I saw it on the Internet”, they’ve looked into it.
Britt Hermes and Naturopathic Diaries
An ex-naturopath and whistleblower. If you really want to know what naturopathy is about and what naturopaths learn in school, this is the place to go. Website: https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com
Because parental intuition does not always lead you to the right decision, these pro-science moms are leading the pack in showing you what’s dangerous and what’s not. Hormones in meat, genetically engineered food, vaccines, head lice and more!
An investigator and debunker of pseudoscience with a background in chemistry, Myles has made numerous, in-depth videos about AIDS denialism, the 9/11 Truther movement, the anti-vaccination movement, glyphosate, extreme health quackery and conspiracy theories of all types.
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/powerm1985/featured
Nick Saik and Know Ideas Media
A filmmaker dedicated to highlighting good information about agriculture and our food supply.
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvroQE2kXCeo-oUc6za7mrA
A resource dedicated to fighting back against the mangling of scientific studies by the media. A great way to find out about the differences between observational and experimental studies, and about how common studies on nutrition get progressively distorted, from the researchers’ original article all the way to major journalistic publications.
Ryan pushes back against alternative medicine in Canada (particularly Ontario). Involved with Bad Science Watch and owner of the blog Post-Truth Health. Particularly active on Twitter.
Bad Science Watch: https://www.badsciencewatch.ca
Post-Truth Health: https://posttruthhealth.ca
Julia Belluz and Brian Resnick for Vox
Two of Vox’s journalists who are doing excellent work reporting on health, especially with the contextualization of new studies.
Julia Belluz on Vox: https://www.vox.com/authors/julia-belluz
Brian Resnick on Vox: https://www.vox.com/authors/brian-resnick
Medical sciences correspondent for CBC National News.
A cat on Twitter who comprehensively documents every bit of media coverage on health fraud.
A long-running magazine dedicated to promoting skepticism.
Olivier Bernard, le Pharmachien
Un incontournable. A-t-il besoin d’être introduit?
Site web: http://lepharmachien.com
Émission télé: http://pharmachien.exploratv.ca/accueil/
Journaliste scientifique qui écrit pour L’Actualité.
Urgentologue et communicateur médical au sein de L’Actualité.
Journaliste au Soleil.
Média indépendant à but non lucratif qui couvre les nouvelles scientifiques et qui, par son Détecteur de rumeurs, vérifie les nouvelles fausses et un peu moins fausses qui se répandent dans les médias.
Site web: https://www.sciencepresse.qc.ca
Le Détecteur de rumeurs: https://www.sciencepresse.qc.ca/detecteur-rumeurs
Magazine québécois qui informe le public en matière de science et technologie.
Site web: https://www.quebecscience.qc.ca
Center for Inquiry Tampa Bay is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization. It is the Florida branch of Center for Inquiry, Amherst, NY.
The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Our vision is a world where people value evidence and critical thinking, where superstition and prejudice subside, and where science and compassion guide public policy.