This week, the fact-checking organization PolitiFact announced that they would be hosting a “virtual festival of fact-checking.”
“Join us LIVE May 10-13 for a virtual festival of fact-checking with Dr. Anthony Fauci,” PolitiFact’s announced, saying that attendees will be given the “chance to hear him live and ask questions.”
The event is called “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking.” PolitiFact said that the event “will bring together leading fact-checkers, journalists, health care professionals and technology leaders for four days of discussion about the role of facts in our democracy, the spread of misinformation surrounding the COVID pandemic and how we all can better spread the truth to our friends and constituents in times of crisis.”
Among the featured speakers are Dr. Anthony Fauci, Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Brian Stelter, author and mental health counselor Steven Hassan, Dr. Dan Fagbuyi, PolitiFact’s Editor-in-Chief Angie Holan, “and more.”
“Facts took a bit of a beating in 2020. Let’s turn the page and celebrate the truth! United Facts of America, brought to you by PolitiFact and the Poynter Institute, is a celebration of fact-checking featuring some of the most important voices in media, health care, politics and technology,” the announcement stated.
“Over 10 hours of virtual programming, you’ll hear from expert fact-checkers from PolitiFact, the Washington Post and FactCheck.org, doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and political and technology leaders trying to counter the spate of misinformation that lives online,” the announcement continued. “And we’ll talk with mental health counselors and experts about how we all can better share the truth with our friends and constituents in times of crisis.”
On the final day of the online conference, titled “Speaking the Truth,” the keynote speech will be given by Steven Hassan, “an American mental health counselor who has written on the subject of mind control and how to help people who have been harmed by the experience.”
“Hassan has written about Q, and the cult of personality surrounding Donald Trump,” the announcement added.
Early bird general tickets for the online event are $25, while general tickets are $50 each. The VIP experience, which “includes a private virtual happy hour with CNN’s Brian Stelter and small group break-out sessions with PolitiFact fact-checkers,” is priced at $100.
PolitiFact is a nonprofit fact-checking organization operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersberg, Florida, with additional offices located in Washington D.C. It began in 2007 as part of the Tampa Bay Times (then known as the St. Petersburg Times).
One of the fact-checking organizations who work with social media platforms like Facebook, PolitiFact provides “Truth-O-Meter” ratings of claims, along the spectrum between “Pants on Fire” and “True.” Despite accusations of bias — usually from conservatives — PolitiFact’s Editor-in-Chief insists that the organization is bipartisan, saying in 2016 that “We try to fact check an equal number of Democrats and Republicans,” and that “We don’t balance the ratings in any way because we think the facts need to speak for themselves. So the ratings are whatever they are.”
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