Democracy Dies in Darkness

The Fix

Now you can fact-check Trump’s tweets — in the tweets themselves

By Philip Bump

December 19, 2016 at 3:45 PM

This article has been updated to include a link to a Firefox version of the extension and to include tweets sent from the POTUS account.

On Friday morning, President-elect Donald Trump took a new tack in his war on the Russia hacking issue.

As our Dave Weigel noted, this isn't really accurate. There was nothing illegal at play, and Donna Brazile wasn't the head of the Democratic National Committee at the time that she leaked town hall questions to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Weigel wrote a whole post about the issue — but people who just click through to the link see only Trump's claim, and none of the context.

Unless, of course, they've installed our extension for Google Chrome -- or, now: Firefox.

We made a tool that slips a bit more context into Trump's tweets. It's still in the early stages, but our goal is to provide additional context where needed for Trump's tweets moving forward (and a few golden oldies). For example, here's what it shows in relation to that Trump tweet.

Still not perfect — but at least readers will see more information without having to read Weigel's full post (though they should, of course.)

Or, for example, here's what it says when you go to Trump's tweet about how there were “millions of people who voted illegally,” which is why he lost the popular vote:

Related: Get the extension for Chrome

Related: Get the extension for Firefox

Sometimes, we just add more context, like when Trump announced his pick of Rex Tillerson to serve as secretary of state. Curious for more info? It's right there in the tweet now.

It takes a little while for the extension to update, so we'll try to stay up to speed on fact-checking what Trump is tweeting, but it may take a few minutes. This is a work in progress, so don't hesitate to offer feedback and thoughts.

And don't hesitate to point to Trump tweets that could use a little explication. That's the goal, after all.

Much thanks to Stuart P. Bentley, a developer who helped improve the extension and make it a much better product.

Watch more!
A data scientist just analyzed over a thousand tweets from Donald Trump's Twitter account. His findings may help point out when it's actually Trump tweeting, as opposed to a staffer. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

Philip Bump is a correspondent for The Post based in New York City.

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