The limits of live fact-checking: Epistemological consequences of introducing a breaking news logic to political fact-checking
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This article analyses the novel form of live political fact-checking, as performed by the Norwegian fact-checking organisation Faktisk.no during the Norwegian parliamentary election campaign in 2021. The aim of the study was to investigate the epistemological consequences of introducing a breaking news logic to political fact-checking. Through methods of participatory observation, interviews and textual analysis, the study finds that Faktisk.no used several strategies to bridge the ‘epistemic gap’ between the logics of breaking news and political fact-checking. Combined, these strategies pushed the live fact-checking towards a confirmative epistemology, implying that the live political fact-checking confirmed (1) knowledge already believed to be true and (2) hegemonic perspectives on what constitutes important and reliable information. The findings thereby point to a potential reorientation of political fact-checking from being a critical corrective of political elites to confirming the perspectives and knowledge base of the same elites.