Luke Hutchinson | Staff Writer
Forty-five percent of registered voters may be interested in what Tampa Bay Times staff writer Joshua Gillin says about the website he contributes to, Politifact.
During a seminar at IU on July 12, Gillin describes Politifact as a trustworthy resource to point out interesting claims made by political figures - from presidential candidates down to state level. It is increasingly useful in times of spreading social media that can lack substance.
“Most claims [made by politicians] are actually from social media,” Gillin said.
While this made clear where statements come from, along with viewer email requests, there was still no confirmation on what deems a claim worthy of being posted, other than Gillin saying the site picks out information from media as any person would. The absence of a more thorough explanation is what empowers most skeptics to the site, believing that selection bias is taking place.
“It’s a nonpartisan site, we try really hard to balance who were picking on” Gillin said.
Politifact operates on a scale that ranges from varying amounts of truthfulness on something a politician has said. A staff writer generates an analytical story after collecting as much evidence as possible, one editor looks through it, and two editors decide it’s score on the signature “Truth-o-Meter.”
On the question of any possible narrow mindedness or political bias, Gillin said, “The three editors are from three different backgrounds.”
Many Americans believe the upcoming election will be a tough decision in the voting process, and while Politifact aims to create more transparency in both political parties, Gillin said his job has personally made voting “more difficult and disheartening.”