Looming Crisis As Experts Warn The World Is Running Out Of Facts To Check


  • by: Maarten Schenk
Looming Crisis As Experts Warn The World Is Running Out Of Facts To Check

Experts have warned a crisis is imminent as the world is running out of facts to check. A recent study by the Federal Institute for Statistics on Hoaxes (F.I.S.H.) estimated that every fact in the world would be checked as early as 2022. This would put thousands of fact checkers out of work and could even lead to a global catastrophe if no action gets taken soon.


We spoke with Lori Robertson, Managing Editor at FactCheck.org, one of the sites expected to be hit hardest. She said automated fact checking was to blame, along with the worldwide growth of the number of fact checking organisations.

It's terrible: most facts these days get checked within days or even hours of being discovered, this rate simply is not sustainable anymore. We needed to ration our facts just to keep going. Many of our fact checkers are now limited to just one fact a day. We do appreciate the support the Trump administration has been giving in this matter but it simply isn't enough.

The White House already called a crisis meeting about the issue and administration officials promised to supply as many alternative facts as possible to keep fact checkers in operation for the duration of the crisis while a solution was being researched.

Meanwhile in Brussels the European Union announced they were also taking their responsability by sending out a fact finding mission looking for fresh supplies of facts. The mission was last seen in downtown Brussels running up huge tabs at various bars and restaurants but hasn't reported back with a single fact so far.

Some organisations have also looked into importing facts from China but a combination of trade barriers, language differences and plain old censorship make this very difficult. Only a limited number of facts get smuggled out of China by internet pirates every year but it is just a drop in the bucket.

A solution might be at hand though: Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered assistance in the form of free humanitarian supplies of Russian facts. At a press conference he said:

Russian facts are best facts! Is true! We have special agency set up in St. Petersburg just to research facts. We supply them to everybody for free. Is good, da?

But apparently not everybody was unhappy about the crisis: reached in a secure undisclosed blanket fort under his desk Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told journalists:

What? All facts checked? No more fake news? Great! People can finally get back to just posting baby pictures and cat memes and this whole nightmare will finally be over. Can't wait!

Yeah, no, that didn't really happen as you probably guessed by now.

If this is your first time visiting this website: welcome! Usually at Lead Stories we write exclusively about trending hoaxes, fake news and satirical stories that people confuse for real news. And we're quite fast about it too, often being the first site on the scene when fake news strikes. You can read more about how we work here.

But today is April Fools' day so we're letting our hair down a little. Instead of ruining other people's jokes we decided to write a few of our own on this special day. We do hope you enjoyed this little bit of satire (if you did, check out our other April Fools' stories). Tomorrow it is back to fact checking for us.

If you like being among the first to know about trending hoaxes, fake news etc., consider giving us a like on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@leadstoriescom):

(Support your local fact checker! Your likes help us spread the truth...)

Also remember: tomorrow is International Fact-Checking Day:

โ€‹April 2 marks the second annual International Fact-Checking Day

In honor of the day, Poynter is launching a website with a lesson plan, tip sheets and other resources to help people learn basic fact-checking skillsST. PETERSBURG, Florida - To raise awareness of fact-checking around the world, Poynter's International Fact Checking Networ...

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident 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.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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