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Here’s what readers said about PolitiFact’s recent fact-checks. (Photo by AP) Here’s what readers said about PolitiFact’s recent fact-checks. (Photo by AP)

Here’s what readers said about PolitiFact’s recent fact-checks. (Photo by AP)

Josie Hollingsworth
By Josie Hollingsworth February 21, 2024

PolitiFact readers started 2024 with deep reading and thoughtful comments to our newsroom. They sounded off in emails to reporters and through social media comments about immigration, our fact-checking of former President Donald Trump and a debunk of the cemetery mail truck hoax. 

Below, our readers’ thoughts, lightly edited for length, clarity and style. Readers can email us fact-check ideas and feedback at [email protected].

Learn more about PolitiFact’s process, and how we’re working to make our fact-checking more transparent.


The reader who requested our piece "Ask PolitiFact: What branch of government is ‘really’ responsible for the crisis at the border?" wrote in to thank PolitiFact, and immigration reporter Maria Ramirez Uribe:

"Thank you for your response. I really appreciate the thoroughness of your report although Immigration is clearly a muddled mess from any angle. However, I feel you answered my question and I’m sticking to my original idea that Congress should bear a larger portion of the blame for not doing their job over the last 30 years, thereby making it more difficult for the other two branches to work the way they should. Thanks again. I really am grateful for your great reporting!"

One reader thought the question in our piece was pedantic.

"So, who’s right? Is there more Biden can do? Or is it on Congress to update immigration law, which hasn’t been changed in decades?"

So what if it hasn’t ‘changed in decades’?  Existing law gives him the power to protect our borders for crying out loud.  That’s why he reversed Trump’s policies … to create the invasion.  And he has certainly succeeded in doing that.

Let me ask … if someone is seeking asylum from say, Gaza, why must they seek it in the United States?  Or if they are from Venezuela, why don’t they seek asylum in the very first country they cross the border into? Come on."

Another reader followed up about the framing of the immigration piece:

"What if the question was asked differently: A proactive action by which arm of government would have the most impact? Is the Executive branch able to perform an action(s) that would make a big improvement in immigration outcomes? Or would a proactive action by the courts make the bigger improvement (a nonstarter, courts are reactive, not proactive)? Or would a proactive action by the Congress, if they chose to do it) make the biggest improvement at the border? Personally, I think the ability to create the biggest improvement (at) the border lies with Congress. Thank you for your article."

The mail truck in a cemetery 

Social media users (and a former president of the United States) have falsely claimed that hundreds of thousands of ballots were sent to dead people — and pets — in Virginia and Nevada.

As evidence, these posts often share the same photo of a mail truck in a cemetery; some claim Democrats have something to do with it.

It’s possible to view these social media posts — many with laughing emojis — as a joke, which is why we didn’t fact-check these claims on our Truth-O-Meter. However, these posts spread the falsehood that U.S. elections are marred by widespread fraud.

Some readers thought we simply couldn’t take a joke. 

"The mail truck in the cemetery is a joke and doesn’t say Republican Democrat. So you need to get a sense of humor. It’s (a) joke."

"It is just a joke intended for those who have a sense of humor."

We heard from the original poster of the Facebook post:

"You fact-checked my sharing on FB of the above post. I am very amused at your action on this post. Evidently you have never heard of sarcasm or satire. Just to be helpful, satire is defined as the use of exaggeration, humor, or irony to criticize someone.

"Well, congratulations on stopping the distribution of a good joke. But do not ever try to convince anyone you are an impartial arbiter. You are a radical, left-wing propagandist using fact-checking to reduce free speech of your political opponents. It is evident you do not follow the famous quote, ‘I detest what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’ I hope you never have to live under a regime that you are helping to build."

Our fact-checking of Trump: 

A reader wrote to us on Threads about the Trump food prices inflation check

"By the way, you forgot to point out that higher prices (are) a trailing indicator of inflation (i.e., a rapid increase of the money supply). Remember when Trump said he liked "a weak dollar" (an old mercantilist idea)? How do you think you weaken the dollar? Blaming Biden for inflation Trump caused is the most grotesque show of chutzpah one can imagine."

On our look into our 1,000 fact-checks of Donald Trump, one reader asked: 

"Does this matter really? So, he said false facts. Talk is cheap. Actions are what matter. Would you rather have someone that speaks the truth all the time and their actions say otherwise or vice versa?" 

And a general comment: 

"I am getting tired of hearing about Donald Trump and his problems. It's getting really old."

A few notes of appreciation:

We also have a few comments from supporters that show the value of our fact-checking reporting: 

"Just going to guess that if there were no Trump, PolitiFact would just continue to independently fact check political statements from both sides of the aisle. You know, like they did before Trump (see: Obama-meter). There’s a section on their website dedicated to their process, their ethics policy, their funding and disclosures, how they correct their mistakes, etc., if you’re actually curious about evaluating the accuracy and trustworthiness of this particular source. I hope you’ll check it out, and also generate the same level of curiosity about other news sources you may use which likely don’t have nearly the same level of ethical commitment."

"I appreciate how you cite your research and get multiple sources in each story."

"I wish more news media would adhere to a high standard like this. It's too much of a ratings game instead of delivering facts with some depth to a story. Thank you for your efforts!"

"I like the easy-to-read fact/evidence-based reviews of assertions made by individuals. I may not agree with the ultimate conclusion you assign, but because you include all the information in your review, I can make up my own mind. The work is excellent."

And simply:

"PolitiFact is a clear voice in a wilderness of demons."

We are happy to stand out as helpful in the wild world of false.

If you are interested in this type of behind-the-scenes fact-checking, consider signing up for the daily or weekly email newsletter from PolitiFact.

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More by Josie Hollingsworth

‘So, who’s right?’ PolitiFact reader feedback on immigration, fact-checking Trump