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About this page

The literature on factual disputes in different subject areas is enormous.   Indeed, historical controversies involving contested facts alone could fill an entire research guide.  Please note: This page includes only a very small sampling of these multidisciplinary controversies.

General media

Rolling Stone‘s Investigation: ‘A Failure that was Avoidable’.
Rolling Stone article claiming sexual violence at the University of Virginia
Columbia Journalism Review, April 5, 2015

Stephen Glass
Former New Republic journalist who fabricated numerous stories

Twitter controversy

"By appointing themselves arbiters of accuracy, they've set themselves up for charges of bias and pointed questions about credibility. "



             Should filmmakers be educating their audience, or entertaining them?




Ken Burns' PBS series on the Civil War
"The Civil War was 'somewhat romanticized' notably in its treatment of Gen. Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders."

1619 Project
New York Times special supplement

"A Matter of Facts". The Atlantic.
Criticism of project by some U.S. historians



Retraction Watch

Launched in January 2015, this site focuses on false and misleading scientific claims that are made by partisans to influence public policy. 

Science Feedback
"Our first mission is to help create an Internet where users will have access to scientifically sound and trustworthy information. We also provide feedback to editors and journalists about the credibility of information published by their outlets."

Virologist questions Dr. Fauci on COVID-19




 "TARNISHED LAUREATE: A special report; Nobel Winner Finds Her Story Challenged",
New York Times
(15 December 1998),

More than a decade after the publication of I, Rigoberta Menchú, anthropologist David Stoll investigated Menchú's story and claimed that Menchú changed some elements about her life, family, and village to meet the publicity needs of the guerrilla movement.




Book Publishing


American Dirt
Why Is Everyone Arguing About the Novel American Dirt?"

Accuracy in Historical Fiction
Authors of historical fictioon have an obligation to be accurate in their writing.

Vulture (New York Magazine)
"By tradition and by default, books aren’t verified to anything near the standard of a magazine piece. Publishers don’t even consider verification their business."

New York Times article
"In an era plagued by deep fakes and online disinformation campaigns, we still tend to trust what we read in books. But should we?"




 Politifact Bias

This site "exists to expose the defective fact checking apparatus at PolitiFact, with special focus on the problems that help show PolitiFact's marked ideological bias."

Real Clear Politics

"The goal of the RCP Fact Check Review project is to understand how the flagship fact-checking organizations operate in practice, from their claim and verification sourcing to their topical focus to just what even constitutes a “fact.”


Profile Photo
Donald Altschiller
Mugar Memorial Library
Subjects: History, Religion