Skip to content

Latest Stories

Top Stories

New online tools ease reporting of election misinformation

person using computer
fizkes/Getty Images

With just six weeks to go, misinformation continues to pose one of the most significant threats to the integrity of the election. But two online tools introduced Tuesday offer the public ways to get active in combating the spread of false or misleading internet content.

A browser plug-in and a text-to-report service to mitigate the impacts of misinformation are the work of MapLight, a nonpartisan group that's been mainly focused on tracking the influence of money over politics. The tools are aimed mainly at removing problematic content on Facebook, but the texting service can also be used for reporting misinformation elsewhere.

The Election Deception Tracker is available as a free browser extension on Chrome and Firefox. After installation, users can report misinformation on Facebook by right-clicking on the post title and selecting "send to Election Deception Tracker." A prompt will appear in which users can provide more details about the post and select one or more of the following categories: voting, candidates, violent threat/hate speech, election results, and fake or misleading account.

MapLight misinformation toolAnyone can report misinformation with MapLight's new tools.MapLight

For misinformation found on flyers, mailers or elsewhere online, users can text a photo or description. The service will then send automated messages to the user to gather more information about the content in question.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

Submitted reports will be sent to MapLight's database where a team of researchers and election protection advocates will analyze the content. If removal is deemed necessary, the organization says it will press that effort with company executives.

And after the election, MapLight says, the misinformation database will be used to buttress lobbying for tougher regulation of social media companies.

"These tools are designed to help anyone concerned about the rampant spread of misinformation to take an active role in protecting our democracy," said MapLight President Daniel G. Newman. "Irresponsible practices from large technology companies like Facebook and a lack of leadership from Congress and the White House have polluted our online environment and jeopardized the integrity of the election."

Misinformation can be hard to identify sometimes, which is why it is so harmful. MapLight encourages the public to report content even if they are unsure of its validity since its team of researchers will be able to verify the information before taking further action.

Read More

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Voters should be able to take the measure of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., since he is poised to win millions of votes in November.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

Kennedy should have been in the debate – and states need ranked voting

Richie is co-founder and senior advisor of FairVote.

CNN’s presidential debate coincided with a fresh batch of swing-state snapshots that make one thing perfectly clear: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may be a longshot to be our 47th president and faces his own controversies, yet the 10 percent he’s often achieving in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and other battlegrounds could easily tilt the presidency.

Why did CNN keep him out with impossible-to-meet requirements? The performances, mistruths and misstatements by Joe Biden and Donald Trump would have shocked Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, who managed to debate seven times without any discussion of golf handicaps — a subject better fit for a “Grumpy Old Men” outtake than one of the year’s two scheduled debates.

Keep ReadingShow less
Bar graph of shopping carts
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

This fact brief was originally published by Wisconsin Watch. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?


Cumulative inflation since former President Donald Trump left office in January 2021 through May 2024 was 20.1 percent according to data from the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U.

Trump told a crowd on June 18 in Racine, Wis., that "real inflation" is more than twice that.

Keep ReadingShow less
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs on stage
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs perform "Fast Car" at the Grammys.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Luke Combs, politics and healing our nation's divide

Nevins is co-publisher of The Fulcrum and co-founder and board chairman of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

It’s been a year and a half since I wrote about “The Great Divide,” Luke Combs' song written by Naomi Judd, Paul Overstreet and John Barlow Jarvis. I was moved by the tremendous response I received, and that article is still one of The Fulcrum’s most-read posts.

The lyrics are as powerful today as they were in November 2023:

Keep ReadingShow less