Source: - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/about-the-fact-checker/
The Pinocchio Test
Where possible, we will adopt the following standard in fact-checking the claims of a politician, political candidate, diplomat, or interest group.
We do make some allowance for statements made in live interviews, as opposed to a prepared text. We will judge more harshly statements from a prepared text, on the grounds that the politician and staff had time to discuss the statistic. We also make allowances if the politician or interest group acknowledges an error was made. Finally, we also have a feature called “Recidivism Watch,” which highlights claims repeated by politicians even though the claim has been previously debunked.
Some shading of the facts. Selective telling of the truth. Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods. (You could view this as “mostly true.”)
Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. Can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people. (Similar to “half true.”)
Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions. This gets into the realm of “mostly false.” But it could include statements which are technically correct (such as based on official government data) but are so taken out of context as to be very misleading. The line between Two and Three can be bit fuzzy and we do not award half-Pinocchios. So we strive to explain the factors that tipped us toward a Three.