Fact-check Friday: Several can be an understatement.


adjective sev·er·al \ˈsev-rəl, ˈse-və-\

2. a :  more than one b :  more than two but fewer than many; c: (chiefly dialectal)  being a great many (Merriam-Webster, 2017)

several nuclear tests

This is not a dialectical argument, and the use of “several” is a severe understatement and incorrect in this context.

According to the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), in 1962 alone there were 178 nuclear tests, the heaviest year of testing from Trinity (July 16, 1945) to date.

Vague language is not strong language. At best it’s lazy and at worst it’s slippery. You don’t want people thinking that you’re a politician, do you?

Fact-check Friday: When your content doesn’t match your featured image.

Now, Vanessa Bayer and Chelsea Clinton do look a little bit alike, and I would not be surprised if an algorithm designed to look for facial matches in a photo repository as deep as CNN’s turned up a few false positives from one of these womens’ files when looking for the other. But if you don’t double check an algo’s work, you can end up with:

mistagged photo

I did an image search to see if this happens often, and it does seem that a few offshore newswires are confused about the difference between Chelsea Clinton and Vanessa Bayer (hint: one is involved in American politics, and the other was involved in satirizing American politics). This leads me to believe that the mistake above might be an editorial error rather than an algo one, but either way, this type of copy-image mismatch is easy to avoid. Even if you’re not sure exactly who Vanessa Bayer is, it doesn’t take more than a couple seconds to Google and find out.