Always Verify!

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Introduction

There are lots of public claims made in print and broadcast media outlets, in daily conversations and online. And since most of the claims are never refuted or explained in context, they are repeated, recycled and ultimately become conventional wisdom. FactReader serves as a counterbalance.

FactReader is an online platform that checks and debunks false news and stories by assembling simulated information alongside verified analysis aimed towards transparency.

The Vision is to be the definitive source for verifying both fake and original news across the continent. Our goal is to assist people in ensuring the information they receive from the media and online is accurate and truthful.

OUR MISSION

Social Media

To scrutinize potentially false news trending on social media.

Verify News

To provide a platform where users can verify news stories

Verify And Curb

To verify and curb the circulation of fake news

Fact-Checking

FactReader does Fact Check based on the credibility of published information in the public domain. We do this by highlighting commonly circulated stories to either prove or debunk them for audiences. Every fact checks on the Platform is rated in order to help readers quickly ascertain the credibility of a claim. Readers are provided with the option to ask any question. Occasionally, refining the accuracy of a demanding topic or event into a single word evaluation can be challenging and misdirecting. Hence, the reason we draw from a broader spectrum of ratings.

How we Factchecks?

In a world where misinformation is fast-growing and fundamental article norms are frequently discarded as pointless costs, fact-checkers can sometimes feel unsecured. At FactCheck Initiative, we are committed to accuracy, truth and rigorous fact-checking. Our pieces seek to be thought-provoking and fascinating — However, to be really astute, they must be right.

Our platform also allows Readers to verify every published fact, from specific details and quotes to larger generalities. We answer questions from readers in a feature we call Ask Us.

We think about a piece on a variety of levels: Are the basic facts correct? Are the facts underlying various opinions correct? And, finally, do they all fit together into a comprehensive and solid argument? We go word by word, line by line. For an intensively reported piece, dozens of sources are contacted and might have hundreds of questions for an author. The process can take anywhere from a few hours (for a very short article) to weeks or even months (for a complex, legally fraught one).

Our Fact-Checking Process

Every report we produce is different, but to ensure we fact-check all impartially, the manner in which we approach it is the same.

Select the claim

First our editors filter the recommendations sent in by readers and escalated by others in the team, in light of criteria set out on the website: is the topic significant?, was the claim established as a statement of fact or opinion, does the claim make a difference, and is it a speaker we have concentrated on previously, since we need to make sure we check all sides in any discussion.

Establish the claim

Once we have the topic, we must establish exactly what was said. Claims sent in by readers for us to check can sometimes be vague. But to check a claim, we need the precise wording. What exactly did they say? Was it as reported? And what was the context in which it was said?

Seek for evidence

Having established the claim, we try to contact the speaker, or their office, and ask what evidence they have for their claim. We always seek the speaker’s evidence.

Check our archives, and other sources

Our next step is to check our archives, and other publicly available sources, for evidence that supports, and evidence that contradicts the claim, casting our net as widely as possible.

Discuss the evidence with experts

Having secured the evidence, we discuss it with specialist experts where necessary to help understand the data. We only discuss with experts willing to go on the record, as we do not use anonymous sources.

Write up the report – setting out evidence step-by-step and providing links

We write up our report, setting out, first, the claim that was made and the context in which it was delivered and reported; second the evidence that supports the claim; third any contrary evidence; and fourth, a balanced conclusion. For all evidence we quote we provide a link or quote the source.

Have an Editor review the report and findings

To ensure that the report itself is accurate, we then ask one of the researcher’s colleagues to review the report, and independently assess the findings, before it is finalized.

Publish, and monitor feedback

Finally, we publish the report, making it available for free on the site and to the media, and monitor feedback. If or when a reader identifies an error, we update the report openly.

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