Donald Trump's campaign is not happy with the idea that the media can debunk their candidate's statements. Several news outlets have published articles fact-checking Trump before the debate, and his campaign spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway, spoke out against this to ABC's "This Week," where she expressed that she opposes both debate moderators' and media outlets' being virtual fact-checkers for the presidential debate. The Commission on Presidential Debates agrees, saying that, rather than moderator Lester Holt, candidates should fact-check each other during Monday's debate, according to CNN.
But not everyone agrees with this; in fact many Twitter users have decided to take revealing the truth behind Trump's often inaccurate statements into their own hands by using the hashtag #DebunkDonald. Netizens are using the hashtag to fact-check Trump in real-time during Monday's debate, using reliable sources to point out when Trump misspeaks.
The inaccuracies of Trump's statements are significant. While acknowledging that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is not a "paragon of truth-telling," after a week of fact-checking, Politico found that when he speaks, Trump is inaccurate almost four times more than Clinton is.
With the advent of social media, the public is able to fact-check public figures along with more traditional media outlets, and many using #DebunkDonald are taking advantage of this ability. Along with the general public, outlets such as Politifact, where reporters and editors fact-check public figures, are also providing live debunking during Monday's debate.
In terms of future debates, October 19 presidential debate moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, has said he will not be fact-checking candidates. "It's not my job to be a truth squad," he told Howard Kurtz on Fox News' "Media Buzz."
Other than Bloomberg TV network, major networks haven't committed to on-screen fact-checking during the debate. The debate over whether the press should fact-check candidates tends to be divided by party line, with Democrats including Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine calling for fact-checking, while Republicans tend to stand behind Conway's statements on debunking, according to Politico.
In line with the Commission on Presidential Debates' view that candidates should fact-check each other during debates, Clinton told viewers to check the front page of her website, which she said has been turned into a fact-checker for the debate. Trump added, "And check mine too." We'll have to see who actually does the best job of telling the truth.