A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that PolitiFact is a nonpartisan fact-checking website. If parents want to engage their kids on political issues and encourage them to question what they hear in American politics, this could be a good place to start. The website evaluates the accuracy of political statements and provides both a visual and content rating that identifies whether or not the speaker is telling the truth. There's some criticism of the site from both conservatives and liberals, but all the ratings are explained and all sources are provided. Parents should be prepared to discuss the various topics that are addressed, as some kids may not find the content all that interesting.
What's it about?
POLITIFACT helps people find out who's telling the truth in American politics. The site is run by the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper, and it fact-checks statements made by elected officials, candidates, and pundits. The content is updated daily, and each fact-check is rated from "True" to "Pants on Fire." The ratings are explained, and there are links to relevant sources. The site also tracks campaign promises made by the president and other elected officials, identifying politicians who have flipped on a variety of issues. There are a number of ways to search for information including by issue, rating, or people. Along with the ratings are timely articles that cover key political topics.
Is it any good?
Politifact can play an important role in encouraging kids to question statements made by people in positions of power and influence. The site is a good fit for a family interested in discussing current events. The Truth-O-Meter ratings help to improve conversations between kids and adults when they're talking about the issues covered in the statements as well as the entire political process. Plus, it should help to decrease the amount of confusion and arguments for different political statements; the site provides numerous links to prove or disprove claims made in the media. The one downside for kids is that the overall content is clearly written for adult consumption, so some kids would need to have parental direction to be sure the information was fully understood. But, for parents looking to get their kids interested in what's real and what's not in the world of politics, Politifact is a great resource.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about who they think is telling the truth in American politics and then fact-check using the Truth-O-Meter. Did you discover any surprises during this fact-checking, or was it what you expected?
Families can talk about political candidates during an election and discuss whether or not they're telling the truth to the American public. Did the politicians you thought were telling the truth accurately describe issues or bend facts to suit their needs?
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