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Does anyone fact check the political ads you see on television?

Ballot boxes at the East San Diego Masonic Temple in San Carlos on Mar. 3, 2020.
KPBS Staff
Ballot boxes at the East San Diego Masonic Temple in San Carlos on Mar. 3, 2020.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured into political advertisements in California ahead of the November election. The resulting political ads are flooding the airwaves, trying to influence voters on everything from sports betting to immigration and abortion rights.

But who is responsible for making sure the content of those ads is factual?

“Information disorder and political polarization make it harder than ever to discern facts from baseless claims or misinformation,” Nikki Usher, an associate professor in communication studies at the University of San Diego, wrote in an op-ed published Monday by the Los Angeles Times. "Meaningful participation in a democracy depends on informed citizens, but many voters can’t get the kind of news and information that would enable them to do so."

Usher joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to talk about what can be done to help ensure consumers know the political ads they are watching have not been fact checked.

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