These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes). The reporting is factual and usually sourced. These are the most credible media sources. See all Least Biased Sources.
- Overall, we rate Lead Stories Least Biased based on presenting evidence-based information with little editorializing and Very High for factual reporting based on excellent sourcing of information.
Factual Reporting: VERY HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 2015, Lead Stories is a fact-checker and hoax/rumor debunker that uses the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles as a guide for all fact-checking. According to their about page “Lead Stories is mainly written by Maarten Schenk and Alan Duke. Maarten is based in Europe (Belgium) while Alan is in the United States of America (California). Administrative and legal affairs are handled by Perry R. Sanders of Sanders Law Firm in Colorado Springs.”
More from the about page: “Since February 2019 we are actively part of Facebook’s partnership with third party fact checkers. Under the terms of this partnership, we get access to listings of content that has been flagged as potentially false by Facebook’s systems or its users and we can decide independently if we want to fact check it or not. In addition to this we can enter our fact checks into a tool provided by Facebook and Facebook then uses our data to help slow down the spread of false information on its platform. Facebook pays us to perform this service for them but they have no say or influence over what we fact check or what our conclusions are, nor do they want to.”
Funded by / Ownership
According to their about page, Lead Stories LLC is a Colorado company formed by Maarten Schenk (Belgium), Alan Duke (California), Perry R. Sanders (Colorado), and John C. Goede (Florida). The company is self-funded with no outside investors and relies on advertising revenue and license fees for the use of the Trendolizer™ engine and is also funded with revenue derived from Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partnership.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Lead Stories is similar to Snopes in the stories they fact check, however they place a stronger emphasis on tracking political fake news and misleading satire. What separates them is the use of a specific engine called the Trendolizer, which tracks story trends that allows Lead Stories to quickly debunk fake news before it becomes viral. Lead Stories does not use loaded language and factually sources all fact checks with credible information. All fact checks reviewed were accurate.
Lead Stories is an IFCN fact checker that we use as a credible fact-checker for our source reviews and daily fact checks.
Overall, we rate Lead Stories Least Biased based on presenting evidence-based information with little editorializing and Very High for factual reporting based on excellent sourcing of information. (D. Van Zandt 2/6/2018) Updated (10/14/2019)