8 Best Websites for Unbiased Election Coverage

It can be hard to find unbiased political news and election coverage in the United States, even though a 2018 poll by Pew Research showed that 78% of respondents in the U.S. believe “the news media should never favor one political party over another.”  

Many so-called “news” organizations don’t even try to hide their bias toward one end of the political spectrum or the other. Still, it is possible to find reasonably unbiased, nonpartisan election coverage if you know where to look. Here are eight great websites for fact-filled and (arguably) bias-free election coverage.

1. Politifact.com 

PolitiFact is the mother of all political fact-checking websites. Owned by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies, PolitiFact describes itself as “a nonpartisan fact-checking website to sort out the truth in American politics.”  

You can view their latest election coverage, explore the Truth-o-Meter’s latest fact checks ranging from “true” to “pants on fire,” view scorecards on specific issues like immigration or taxes, and find scorecards on specific people.  

PolitFact is transparent about its funding and methodology, carefully explaining how they choose which claims they fact-check and how they determine ratings. These are hallmarks of unbiased reporting. Also check out their off-shoot, PunditFact, which provides similar fact-checking of media personalities.

2. FiveThirtyEight.com

FivethirtyEight.com (named for the number of electors in the Electoral College) is the brainchild of statistician Nate Silver who has remained the site’s editor-in-chief through a number of changes of ownership.  

This is a great site to go to for unbiased analysis of political opinion polls. While it has expanded its focus to include topics beyond elections, like sports and science, it’s still the go-to site to learn what those political poll results really mean. Even better, FiveThirtyEight provides their raw data and code on some topics and encourages readers to create their own stories and visualizations.

3. Ballotpedia.org

Ballotpedia is “the digital encyclopedia of American politics and elections.” Like PolitiFact, Ballotpedia is a nonprofit with a mission to educate and a commitment to neutrality. You can find information on national, state, and local elections, including candidate profiles, policy positions, election news, and information on voting. 

You can also subscribe to their wide variety of newsletters like Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew, a short email sent every morning with a summary of the day’s main political stories.

4. Factcheck.org

Factcheck.org is the third nonprofit on our list. Similar to PolitiFact, FactCheck.org monitors “the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.” 

You can browse by month, person, issue, or location, or try reading through their Debunking False Stories Archives. (FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to flag and debunk misinformation on social media.) You can even submit a question via their Ask FactCheck feature.

5. Federal Election Commission 

Money matters. If you want to follow the money, a great place to start is with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Although it is a government agency, the FEC is “an independent regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing the federal campaign finance law.”  

Have you ever wondered how much money a presidential campaign is raising, what they’re spending that money on, or how much cash they have on hand right now?  The FEC can tell you.

6. OpenSecrets.org

Another good nonprofit, nonpartisan website to visit is OpenSecrets.org. Run by the Center for Responsive Politics, OpenSecrets.org tracks “money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.” 

One of their goals is to “expose disproportionate or undue influence on public policy.” Use this site to search how money plays a part in campaigns, super PACs, and lobbying.  You can also delve into the personal finances of members of Congress, the president, the vice president, and other members of the president’s administration.

7. Vote Smart

VoteSmart.org is serious about staying unbiased. They say, “Most of us at Vote Smart are not paid and those who are receive only minimal salaries to cover living expenses. We will not accept funding from corporations, PACs or any organization that supports or opposes candidates or issues. This effort will be financed by you and other Americans or not at all.”

Enter a candidate’s name in the Vote Smart search bar, and then choose to view the candidate’s bio, their voting record, positions on key issues, endorsements and ratings, speeches, or funding. If you like, you can also register for My VoteSmart, choose which candidates you want to track, and receive a daily email with any new data that VoteSmart learns about that person.

8. AllSides.com

The last entry on our list, AllSides.com, believes that “unbiased news does not exist.”  

Rather than striving for neutral election coverage, AllSides.com endeavors to “expose people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world — and each other.” Visit this site to view news stories organized in three categories: news from the left, news from the center, and news from the right.  

You can also find their Media Bias Ratings to “help you to easily identify different perspectives so you can get the full picture and think for yourself.” Search by issue, or check out their dictionary which discusses how people of different political persuasions define a certain term or issue.  

What Political Ideology Are You? 7 Websites to Test Yourself

You may think you fall to the right or the left when it comes to your politics, but are you 100% sure? The reality is that many people hold beliefs that fall on the opposite side of the aisle they may think. 

With so many people today holding such a wide variety of personal and political opinions, it’s very difficult to draw a line and choose a side. 

What political ideology are you? Why not take a test, answer a few simple questions about your beliefs, and find out the truth?

1. Pew Research Center

One of the leader opinion research organizations, the Pew Research Center, published its own Political Typology Quiz

This quiz steps you through 17 questions to determine where you fall in the political spectrum. 

Most of the questions are pretty obvious which side of the aisle they fall on. Questions cover fiscal spending, racial issues, gender issues, environmental regulations, and more.

The end result of the test will be a particular label that Pew Research Center created to describe degrees of the political spectrum. 

The name may not mean much to you, but to see where you fall, just scroll down to see the charts and graphs. The results will show you how you answered versus how the general public answered, as well as which end of the political spectrum you fall on.

2. Youth Leadership

This Youth Leadership quiz is an online resource for Civics Teachers. This page is a tool teachers can use to help students learn where they fall in the political spectrum.

It’s also a much easier test to take than most because it’s just a single page with 25 questions you can quickly answer Agree or Disagree to. 

Questions here aren’t entirely cut and dry. You would need to stop and analyze many of them carefully to guess which end of politics the answer leans to. 

Because of that, it’s better to go through the questions quickly and answer with your initial gut reaction. This will ensure you’re answering with what you believe, not with how you’d like the test results to go.

Select Submit when you’re done, and you’ll get a text explanation of your political leaning. The result will be Liberal, Conservative, or Moderate, with an explanation of what that means. It also lists a couple of politicians with whom your political views align.

3. Individual Differences Research

One of the more scientific and useful political ideology tests is this one from IDRlabs. The test is specifically intended to avoid bias and prevent what their site describes as “spinning questions” that other political ideology sites do in order to sway you over to one end or the other.

The questions here aren’t the type of cliche political questions you’ll find at other sites. They require a little more thought and consideration. They may cover two or three things you care deeply about, but which might conflict with one another.

It’s also interesting that these aren’t strictly Agree or Disagree questions. Instead you move the slider along 5 positions on the bar to identify the degree to which you agree or disagree.

The results at the end are also very easy to understand. 

It’s just a four-quadrant chart with Left and Right on the sides and Liberal and Communitarian on the bottom and top. The dot shows where you landed with your results. Under this chart you’ll also see where famous leaders like Obama, Reagan, and others are aligned.

4. Political Compass

This test on the aptly named Political Compass site is not quite as straightforward as other political ideology tests out there. It’ll ask you about your opinions about philosophy, entertainment, and other issues that are seemingly unrelated to politics. 

However, the test designers made the test in such a way to gauge your thought process and ultimately understand your political leanings through your answers.

You’ll need to work through 6 pages of about 7 questions each. The results of this test look similar to that of IDRlabs, with slightly different labels.

You will see two sets of arrows, and where they intersect is where you are in the political spectrum.

You’ll see Left and Right on the sides and Libertarian and Authoritarian on the bottom and top. The vagueness of the questions and the number of questions makes this test one of the most accurate of all of them.

5. Vote Smart

The site Vote Smart offers a slightly more interactive option. You can either pick a picture of a candidate from one of the four most popular political parties, or choose an issue from a menu at the top.

These will take you through a series of questions to see how closely your answers align with a particular political party’s platform. 

As you select each topic, answer the question, and say how important or not important the question is to you, the pictures of the candidates will grow or shrink. This represents how much alike or not alike you are with those candidates.

When you’re done with all of the questions, you should have a pretty good idea which candidate’s ideology most matches your own!

This might not drive who you ultimately vote for, but it should inform your decision a little better than just going to the polls blindly. Of course, if you’re a moderate, it may not help at all!

From what I could tell as we tested the questions, the results appeared to be fairly accurate. 

6. Advocates for Self-Government

This organization offers what they call “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz”. It’s supposed to take only about a minute, and your results will be compared to millions of other people who’ve taken the test.

Just visit the Advocates site and select Take the Quiz at the top of the page. Then scroll down the page and provide one of three answers to each of the 11 questions. These cover personal issues, economic issues, and an optional bonus question. The bonus question is where you get to say where you think you fall politically.

How much the test affects the results is unknown, so we’d suggest not answer it if you want to see how accurate the test really is.

When you’re done answering the questions, just select Calculate My Results at the bottom. You’ll see an option to enter your email to get results. But you can bypass this by selecting Continue without saving.

The results here on your political ideology range from Conservative to Progressive, and from Authoritarian to Libertarian. 

Since there are so few questions, the granularity of the results mean that what you discover about yourself at this site may swing a bit more to one extreme or the other than where you really are.

7. Polquiz

The final test to see what political ideology you are is Polquiz. Just visit the site and select Take the quiz on the main page. 

This is another quick and easy test because all of the questions are on one page. You just select each topic and it’ll drop down the question. Questions cover two major areas – social matters and economic matters.

Note that the questions tend to be organized from the most government heavy to the most government-free, so try to answer the questions honestly rather than where your political ideology fits.

Once you’re done, just select Submit Quiz and you’ll see the results in a Nolan Chart.

Results work from left-wing to right-wing, and libertarian to totalitarian. The red bullseye will show you where in the political playing field you land.

Check Your Political Ideology

Many people assume that they fall in a specific political ideology because of a few very hot-button topics they believe strongly in. However, just a few answers on these tests on other topics could swing your results in a direction that may surprise you.

So give a few of these political quizzes a try and see if you really are where you think you are in the political spectrum.

How to Block Political Posts on Facebook

With less than a month to go before the U.S. election, you may be tired of seeing political Facebook posts day after day. Thankfully, you can change a few settings inside Facebook and scrub your timeline clean. 

Not only can you block political posts on Facebook, but you also can report them so Facebook can remove them permanently. Find out how to block political posts on Facebook, so you can enjoy some controversy-free time on your favorite social network. 

Snooze to Hide Political Facebook Posts from Friends

Everyone has a friend or acquaintance who stirs the pot by sharing a politically charged post. Want to turn them off until after the election is over? You can block political posts from your friends on Facebook right from your Facebook feed using the following steps. 

  1. Scroll to the political Facebook post you want to hide.
  1. Select the ellipsis icon in the upper right corner of the post.
  1. Select Snooze [name of the source] for 30 days.

As soon as you select snooze, that post and all posts from the person should disappear. It will be replaced by a small box confirming your choice to snooze that person and an undo button if you change your mind.  

Not only does that political Facebook post disappear, but you also won’t see any future posts from the person.  Once the election is over, the person will reappear and you will begin seeing their posts again. If you want a more permanent action that’ll last beyond 30 days, select Unfollow to stop seeing the person’s posts while still remaining friends.                                    

Unfollow Groups With Political Facebook Posts

Though many Facebook groups ban political posts, some do not, and they can be an unexpected source of annoying political Facebook posts. Here’s how you can block these political posts from your Facebook feed

  1. Open the group that you don’t want to see.
  2. Select the ellipsis icon in the upper right corner of the group page.
  1. Select Unfollow Group.

Unfollowing is a great compromise, especially for those who want to temporarily block posts. 

This option removes all the group posts from your feed but allows you to remain in the group. You can select the group and view their posts, but they will not automatically show up on your feed. When things have calmed down, you can easily re-follow the group and enjoy reading their posts every day. 

Change Facebook Ad Settings to Reduce Political Ads

You also can turn off political ads in the Ad settings of your Facebook profile. Open Facebook in your web browser and follow these steps to cut back on the political Facebook posts that you see. 

  1. Select the downward pointing arrow icon in the upper right corner. 
  1. Select Settings & Privacy.
  1. Then Select Settings to view all your account settings.
  1. Scroll down and select Ads in the left column to view your Ad Preferences. 
  1. Select Ad Topics to change which ads that you see.
  1. Find and select the option for Select Social Issues, Elections or Politics.
  1. Select See fewer ads about this topic.

Though it won’t remove all political ads, this single option should significantly cut down on the number of political ads you see. 

Hide All Political Facebook Ads by a Specific Advertiser 

If you encounter a political ad you really don’t like, you can block the individual or organization that sponsored the political ad in just a few steps. 

  1. Find the advertisement you want to hide.
  1. Select the ellipsis icon in the upper right of the ad.
  1. Select Why am I seeing this ad? which explains why this ad is on your News Feed. 
  1. Select Hide to the right of Hide all ads from this advertiser.

Once you block the advertiser, you should no longer see any existing or future advertisements from this person or group. 

Report a Misleading Political Facebook Ad

You occasionally may encounter a political Facebook ad that has misleading information or contains fake news. You can report that post to Facebook and ask the social network to remove it. Follow these few simple steps to report a false Facebook advertisement. 

  1. Find the ad that you want to report.
  1. Select the ellipsis icon in the upper right of the ad.
  1. Click Report ad.
  1. Choose the reason why you are reporting the ad.
  1. Select the Submit button to send your report to Facebook.

Once reported, the ad will be sent to the Facebook ad review system. This automated tool determines whether the ad violates Facebook’s advertising policies. If it does violate Facebook’s policies, the ad will be removed. Even if the ad isn’t removed, your feedback still is useful. Facebook regularly reviews its ad policies and may change them based on user feedback. 

What Facebook Is Doing

Facebook is doing its part by banning any new political ads submitted in the week before the election. Candidates will not be able to launch any last-minute advertisements to sway voters. It will still allow existing ads to run in the waning weeks of the campaign, though. 

Unlike Twitter, which has been removing ads it deems to contain lies or misinformation, Facebook has stayed out of the political fray. The social network is only removing advertisements that attempt to dissuade people from voting using the coronavirus pandemic.  Facebook isn’t removing controversial ads, but the company is labeling them as misinformation, reducing their overall impact. 

What is Reddit Karma (and How to Get It)

Reddit is a community of communities, with subreddits you wouldn’t believe existed that cater to every need, desire, and interest. While most of these communities are moderated, you can make your views known with comments and other feedback to help guide a post, with the best comments becoming the most prominent.

One of the best forms of feedback is Reddit karma, which helps to promote comments and posts, as well as help users gain recognition. What is Reddit Karma exactly? As you’ll see in this guide, Reddit karma is your reputation, built on the backs of the contributions you make. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is Reddit Karma?

When you post a new post or comment on Reddit, users will be able to promote or hide it by upvoting or downvoting the content. Each reddit thread or comment starts with a single point—this is the total karma awarded to that post.

If other Reddit users dislike it, they can downvote it, reducing the karma points to negative figures below zero. If other Reddit users like the post or comment, however, then they can upvote it, giving it greater publicity. If the post goes viral with enough karma attached, then it can even potentially push it to the Reddit front page.

This is the power of Reddit in action. Karma is the sum of points earned through comments and posts throughout Reddit across different subreddits. It’s your reputation, allowing other Reddit users to see if you have a good standing on the platform, or if you’re a bad participant, totally new user, or complete scammer.

If you’re a popular contributor, then your Reddit karma will be high, but a risky post or two can push your karma score down. You can’t earn karma by simply posting or commenting, but if you’re writing useful, interesting, or insightful posts in popular subreddits, then you’ll soon be rewarded for your contributions by other users.

Is Reddit Karma Necessary?

Reddit karma isn’t strictly necessary, but it helps to screen low-quality contributions and users from subreddits. For instance, if you’re ever shadowbanned from Reddit, it will probably be due to a number of insulting or upsetting posts—posts that would have been downvoted by other users for the very same reason.

Some subreddits also use the karma system to help screen posts and comments automatically. If you have a new account, you won’t have much of a karma score. Some subreddits will prevent you from posting new posts or comments unless you build up this score elsewhere through regular Reddit contributions.

If you want to go far on Reddit, you have to take notice of your Reddit karma, at least every once in a while. Low karma on older accounts will mean judgements are made by subreddit moderators about your intentions—accurate or not.

Reddit is a platform for everyone, so even if you don’t care about Reddit karma, and don’t bother to keep an eye on your karma score, you may still be forced to deal with the consequences if your score falls too low.

How to Get Karma on Reddit

Receiving Reddit karma is entirely down to the goodwill of other users. If your comments and posts are well received, other users can upvote you. Upvotes from other users add a point to your overall karma total, which you can view in your profile.

You can’t fake your total, and most Reddit users will be able to spot attempts to generate goodwill (and therefore karma) through fake or spammy posts. The best way to build up your karma score on Reddit is to be authentic and inclusive to the community you’re participating in.

Some subreddits are known for having a largely negative user base, so judge your contributions carefully. Posting controversial or negative posts will generate a response, which is often coupled with downvotes and a reduction in your karma score.

Viewing Your Reddit Karma Score

If you want to keep an eye on your Reddit karma score, then there are a couple of ways you can do so. A quick glance in the top-right corner of the Reddit window (once you’ve signed in) will let you see your current Reddit karma score as a total.

You can also see your Reddit karma score on your Reddit user profile. You can access this from your user URL directly (for instance, reddit.com/u/user). Alternatively, you can access your profile once you’re signed in by selecting your Reddit username in the top-right, then selecting the My Profile option.

Your Reddit karma score will be shown in the panel on the right, next to the anniversary date of your Reddit account registration (known as your Reddit cake day).

The Reddit karma score was previously separated into post karma and comment karma in the old Reddit interface. In the new Reddit interface, however, you’ll simply see your post and comment karma combined as one total score.

If you’re curious to see the separated scores, you’ll need to switch back to the old Reddit interface. To do this, visit old.reddit.com/user/username, replacing username with your Reddit username. Alternatively, select your username in the top-right corner of the new Reddit interface, then select the Visit Old Reddit option.

In the old Reddit interface, select your username in the top-right corner. This will bring you to your user profile, where your separated Reddit karma scores will be displayed in the panel on the right-hand side.

How to Upvote and Downvote on Reddit

If you want to give karma to users who post or comment on Reddit, then you can do so by using the upvoting system. Next to every post and comment on Reddit is a set of arrows pointing upwards and downwards.

Selecting the upwards arrow will upvote that comment, so long as you’re signed in yourself. For new Reddit posts, this means the original poster gains an additional karma point. This may not immediately update itself, however, as Reddit uses vote fuzzing to camouflage score updates to protect the system from manipulation.

If you decide to upvote a comment, the commenter will gain the upvote (and the karma point as a result). Likewise, if you decide to downvote a post or comment, a single point will be taken from that user’s karma total.

This ensures that the balance of power rests in the community. If you and other Reddit users spot a poor-quality comment or post, you can downvote it. Once a comment or post has been downvoted below zero, it will begin to be hidden from view.

Building Up Your Reputation on Reddit

Once you start building up your Reddit karma, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pro Reddit user and contributor to the thousands of subreddits available for you to view and post in. If you can’t find the subreddit you want, try to use Reddit’s advanced search features to help you find your way.

If you want to take things a step further, you can subscribe to Reddit Premium (previously Reddit Gold) and hand out super karma with gold, silver, and platinum awards. Don’t worry if you lose interest, because you’re free to delete your Reddit account at any time, but be prepared to lose your karma if you do.

8 Political Subreddits for Calm Political Debate

Political debates can be a minefield. That’s why calm political debates are something we all aspire to but rarely get. The anonymity of Reddit and its subcommunities (subreddits) gives you the power of choice. You can engage in polite debate on politics on the right subreddit or choose to leave if opinions get heated. 

The 6th most popular website in the world helps you take in different opinions, examine your biases, and form a balanced opinion.

Most Reddit users are young and the political debates on Reddit are uncensored but moderated, unlike the news media that can be biased (though there are unbiased news websites too). So, it’s a useful outlet to find out what your peers are thinking. 

Here are some of the best political subreddits you can take part in. 

1. Politics

Despite the generic name, this subreddit is only for U.S. politics. The catch-all subreddit follows political events across the U.S. and those often spark discussion threads. Several AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions are held around the year and you can join these to put your own views across or ask questions. 

Do remember to read the rules and the FAQ before you take part in the subreddit. Trolling, personal attacks, and fundraising attempts can invite bans. 

If you are in the U.K, visit UK Politics which is a similar subreddit. There is a World Politics subreddit as well, with more than a million redditors. 

2. PoliticalDiscussion

This subreddit also leans a lot towards U.S. politics but not exclusively. You can discuss and debate anything on the subject. For instance, you can go into political history and ask about Woodrow Wilson during the Spanish Flu or debate on the political theory of ideal governance.

Use the Search by Topic filter on the Reddit sidebar to filter the right threads.

3. Geopolitics: Getting the Big Picture

The name and the subreddit description say it all. This subreddit looks at the link between geography and political gamesmanship. By its very nature the scope of the discussions is global. Most of the conversations are around recent headlines. 

Use the colorful filters to get a sense of world history as it is happening now. The Perspective and the Analysis filters can give you a sense of international politics. You can also ask your own questions and see what kind of debate unfolds in the threads. 

4. Freethought

This subreddit champions rationality over dogma, reason over emotion, and tries to encourage a more scientific discourse. Politics is one of the more popular topics with this community. Like many subreddits, the discussions start from published articles. 

Not all comments pass the scientific and logical filters, but that’s something you must accept while pursuing free thought. 

5. Change My View

This subreddit is for you if you can accept that you might be wrong. Change My View is about changing the lens of your worldview or at least cleaning the blurriness on it. It also links to the Ceasefire website that wants to make a small attempt to reduce global polarization.

The more than a million members on this subreddit is enough proof of the idea. Start by posting your opinion. Explain the reasoning behind your view. Then, have a polite exchange of ideas and see if you can come out at the other end with better understanding or more ideas.

6. Moderate Politics

This political subreddit isn’t for political moderates as the name might imply. It’s for expressing moderately held views about politics. So, there’s a good chance that you can start a calm political debate that doesn’t get heated. Choose Debate from the Flair sidebar and have a go at it. 

Redditors of all backgrounds are welcome here if you agree to disagree… calmly. 

7. Neutral Politics

Objective discussions are always the key to calm political debates. It’s tough to keep an entire community aligned on those goals. That’s why this subreddit is heavily moderated and stresses on quantified knowledge from respected sources, and not “common knowledge” which is often rife with falsehoods. 

Though the debate is done, you can still use the 2020 First US Presidential Debate Real Time Fact Checking Thread to check up on the claims made by the two nominees. 

8. AskPolitics

There are quite a few “Ask” subreddits for thought provoking questions and answers. AskPolitics is about improving your own political knowledge. The right question (and its reply) can go a long way in making you a more responsible voter and a better debater when a topic comes up in a conversation. 

The questions you ask can be basic like, “Where I can find the GOP healthcare plan?” or weighty like, ”How has ranked choice voting gone in reality?”. The subreddit also collates similar issues into megathreads that make them easier to grasp. 

All discussions are well moderated, and the admins encourage you to post well-thought out specific questions and not general prompts for the sake of starting any discussion.

How to Find the Right Subreddit for Political Debates

There are many ways to search Reddit like a power user

Apart from a Boolean search, you can ask Reddit. The Find a Subreddit is like the post office for the site too. Or use the search suggestions on the official and unofficial Reddit apps. 

Here’s a compiled list of political subreddits that works like a short cut. Give a hat tip to u/rawveggies for this. 

Civility on Reddit Goes a Long Way

Reddit, like any other social media community, is not free from turning into a soapbox. The fact that people can anonymously share their opinions can make any chat a ranting match. You have to expect this, as sites like Reddit play an increasing role in shaping political opinion. 

The best way to find subreddits for calm political debates is to avoid those with negative language. They can belong to either the left or the right. The next best way is to follow every rule of Reddit etiquette and avoid getting into flame wars. Remember, it doesn’t take much for an admin or a moderator to shadowban you from subreddits in one go. 

Have you found the best political subreddit for your political questions? Tell us if any other subreddit deserves to be on this list and why.