About | Lead Stories

What we do

Lead Stories is an award-winning innovative fact checking and debunking website at the intersection of big data and journalism that launched in 2015. Our editorial team originally just used the technology provided by Trendolizer (patent granted) 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 ever since the primaries of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Nowadays we specifically hunt for trending stories, images, videos and posts that contain false information in order to fact check them as quickly as possible. We tend to work very fast 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.

Since February 2019 we have been an active part of Facebook's (now Meta) partnership with third party fact checkers in the United States (and occasionally in other countries). Under the terms of this partnership we get access to listings of content that has been flagged as potentially false by Meta's systems or its users and we can decide independently if we want to fact check it or not. In addition to this we can enter our fact checks into a tool provided by Meta and Meta then uses our data to help slow down the spread of false information on its platform.

Since April 2020 we also have provided fact checking related advice and services to ByteDance, the company running TikTok (in the United States, Europe and Asia).

Over the years we have launched versions of our website in several different languages (you can see the list in the footer of this website), sometimes growing out of our work for Meta and ByteDance but also self-funded in some cases to provide staffers an opportunity to write in their own language while serving the public good.

We also perform non fact-checking related consultancy regarding trend monitoring involving Lead Stories' Trendolizer technology for Google LLC.

To be clear: Meta, ByteDance and Google have no say over what content we choose to fact check or the conclusions we reach in the articles we publish.


Owners/LLC Members

Responsible for corporate, business, financial & legal matters.

Global Management Team

Responsible for day-to-day operations, business development, HR, planning, strategy, editorial policies & technical matters.

US Website Management Team

Responsible for the day-to-day operation of our U.S. website, staff training & U.S. client/partner services

International Operations Management Team

Responsible for the day-to-day operation of our international websites, staff training & international client/partner services

Writers & Fact Checkers

Company Information

Lead Stories LLC is a Colorado company formed by Maarten Schenk (Belgium), Alan Duke (California), Perry R. Sanders (Colorado) and later joined by John C. Goede (Florida). The company is self-funded with no outside investors and relies on advertising revenue, license fees for the use of the Trendolizer™ engine and fees obtained through Meta's and Bytedance's third party fact checking partnerships and other fact checking or trend monitoring related consultancy work.

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). Our registration number assigned by the Colorado Secretary of State's office is 20151218760.

If you need to contact us our contact information can be found here. An overview of our financial information and funding sources can be found here.

Note about Trendolizer users and Editorial Independence

The Trendolizer™ Terms of Service have a clause we take very seriously that reads:

Usage of the Trendolizer Website or Service does not grant you any influence, say or preferential treatment with regards to the selection of the content we choose to write about, the content of the articles we publish or the rating or conclusions Lead Stories draws about any such content.

No individual Trendolizer™ user accounts for more than %0.15 of our average monthly company revenue. Most users are fact checking organizations and media companies.

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

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