Lead Stories Fastest At Finding And Debunking Top Fake News Stories Of 2017

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Buzzfeed released an analysis of the top 50 fake news stories of 2017 which you should definitely read. Many of the stories in the list have been debunked at some point by Lead Stories so there are no surprises there for our regular readers but it is an interesting read nonetheless.

Just for fun we decided to do a quick non-scientific analysis of our own see how we compared to the three top fact checkers used in Buzzfeed's data: Snopes, Politifact and ABC News. We took the top 10 most viral fake news stories from the Buzzfeed list and checked if we had covered them.

  1. Babysitter transported to hospital after inserting a baby in her vagina
  2. FBI seizes over 3,000 penises during raid at morgue employee's home
  3. Charles Manson to be released on parole, to Johnson County, TX
  4. Police: Chester Bennington Was Murdered
  5. Morgue employee cremated by mistake while taking a nap
  6. Angry Woman Cuts Off Man's Penis for Not Making Eye Contact During Sex - TRENDING
  7. Female Legislators Unveil 'Male Ejaculation Bill' Forbidding The Disposal Of Unused Semen
  8. President Trump Orders the Execution of Five Turkeys Pardoned by Obama
  9. Elderly woman accused of training her 65 cats to steal from neighbors
  10. Couple hospitalized after man gets his head stuck in his wife's vagina

Snopes covered 9 of them while Politifact and ABC News did not write about any of the top ten stories. Lead Stories wrote about 8 of them, including the one Snopes missed ("Angry woman"). Snopes wrote about the two that Lead Stories missed ("unused semen" and "65 cats").

Now let's compare speed on the seven stories that Snopes and Lead Stories both covered:

Snopes 0 - 1 Lead Stories

Snopes 0 - 2 Lead Stories

Snopes 1 - 2 Lead Stories

Snopes 1 - 3 Lead Stories

Snopes 1 - 4 Lead Stories

Snopes 2 - 4 Lead Stories

Final score: Snopes 2 - Lead Stories 5


Not too shabby considering we at Lead Stories have just one active writer (me), a fraction of the budget and we are not even part of Facebook's fact checking program so we don't have access to the list of stories reported as fake by Facebook's user base. We must be doing something right I guess :-)

Best wishes for 2018 and don't get fooled by fake news!

  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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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.
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