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Backfence was a network of user-driven hyperlocal news sites that launched in 2005 and closed in 2007.
Backfence was founded in 2005 by Mark Potts and Susan DeFife with five staff members and two community sites in the Washington, D.C., area. It raised $3 million in local and national investment and eventually expanded to 13 sites near Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Backfence averaged about one full-time staff member per site, though its content came from users, who could blog, edit wikis or post photos there. The company was supported by self-service display and classified advertising. The site was considered at the time one of the bellwethers of the “citizen journalism” movement.
PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that examines the statements made by American political figures and pundits. It is run by the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). PolitiFact was launched in 2007, a project of longtime political reporter Bill Adair (who left the site in 2013) and web developer Matt Waite. According to Waite,…