When you’re reading, listening to the radio, or watching TV and you come across some ‘fact’ that seems suspicious, where do you go to check?

FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Their goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.

FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.

Here’s a sample of some of their fact-checking from January 2012

Haggling Over Hagel’s Record
A pro-Israel group oversimplifies Chuck Hagel’s foreign policy positions in an ad portraying the nominee for secretary of defense as soft on Iran.

McConnell Fudges Fiscal Facts, Too
The Senate Republican leader twisted some fiscal facts in his appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit.

New Ask FactCheck Responses

Q: Do 11 states now have more people on welfare than they have employed?
A: A viral email making this claim is off base. It distorts a Forbes article that compares private-sector workers with those “dependent on the government,” including government workers and pensioners, and Medicaid recipients — not just “people on welfare.”

FactCheck Quiz: The quiz is back this week after a brief hiatus. So go ahead and test your knowledge of the latest in politics.

Viral Spiral: Check out FlackCheck.org’s video highlighting our list of the worst viral claims of 2012. And as always, you can read the full list of the false or misleading viral rumors we’re asked about most often on our Viral Spiral page.

Donations: Our annual year-end fundraising appeal has resulted in $24,408 in online and mail donations through Jan. 10. We thank all those who contributed to our campaign. Those still wishing to make a donation can do so by visiting our website’s donation page or mailing a check (made out to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania) to FactCheck.org, 202 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

FactCheck Mailbag: Read some of the letters we receive from readers.

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