It's an election year. Candidates are saying a lot of things to get people's votes, which means many of them are, to be blunt, lying. How do you know what to believe? How do you sort fact from fabrication? Surprisingly, the Internet can actually help if you go to the right places. Factcheck.org is just what it sounds like: a website devoted to finding the truth behind politician's statements, misleading headlines, and viral rumors. Factcheck is published by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and it's refreshingly bipartisan: today posts' dissected the spin in the Republican candidates' most recent debate; earlier in the week their writers took Obama to task for some exaggerations and omissions in the State of the Union address. And if you have a question about something you've heard that's not covered on their website, you can ask them. Politifact is another reputable fact-checking website published by the Tampa Bay Times. Their staff subject politicians' statements and campaign ads to their famous Truth-o-meter and their Obamameter tracks how well Obama's kept his promises from the 2004 and 2008 campaigns. Their page "Pants on Fire" lists recent lies by public figures, untrue stories circulating online, and faked viral images and videos. Of course, skepticism is warranted all the time: not just in an election year, and not just about what's on the news. If you're wondering if a charity is legitimate, if a story going around on Facebook is true, or if that email forward from your uncle has a single fact in it (hint: probably not), you can find out on Snopes.com, a site devoted to debunking rumors, conspiracy theories, urban legends, and hoaxes. If you're interested in taking the time for a more in-depth analysis of what appears in the media, try the podcast On the Media from NPR. it's where I learned one of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given about breaking news coverage: don't listen. In the hours immediately following a disaster, a terrorist attack, an assassination or any other big event, reporters are under a lot of pressure to have something to report, but the bottom line is no one knows anything yet, and all they've got to go on is hearsay.