Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True


What we do

Lead Stories is an innovative fact checking and debunking website at the intersection of big data and journalism that launched in 2015. Our editorial team used the technology provided by Trendolizerâ„¢ (patent pending) to quickly find the most trending content on the internet to write about but our mantra has always been "Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True."

Originally started as a site about what was currently trending on the internet in general (and in some cases if it was actually true) we gradually shifted into full time fact checking and debunking mode ever since the primaries of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Nowadays we specifically hunt for trending stories from known fake news, satire or prank websites in order to debunk them as quickly as possible. Often we are one or two days ahead of other fact checking websites because we actively monitor the fake news ecosystem and we don't have to wait for reader tips or reports before getting started on a story. You can read more about how we work here.

Who we are

Lead Stories is mainly written by Maarten Schenk and Alan Duke (click the names for full biographies). Maarten is based in Europe (Belgium) while Alan is in the United States of America (California). Administrative and legal affairs are handled by Perry R. Sanders of Sanders Law Firm in Colorado Springs.

Company Information

Lead Stories LLC is Colorado company formed by Maarten Schenk (Belgium), Alan Duke (California), Perry R. Sanders (Colorado) and John C. Goede (Florida). The company is self-funded with no outside investors and relies on advertising revenue and license fees for the use of the Trendolizerâ„¢ engine.

You can check our entry in the Colorado Secretary of State business registry here (note: if the link doesn't work simply click your 'back' button and reload the page).

If you need to contact us our contact information can be found here.

Financial information about our fact checking operation

In the past calendar year (2017) our expenses for running leadstories.com were as follows:

  • Paid writing and technical staff: $42,000
  • Hosting: $480

This was paid for with our own investments (37%), revenue from selling access to Trendolizerâ„¢ (35%) and advertising revenue from our sites (28%). We received no other outside funding.