Our Labels & Standards

Note: The following documentation is subject to occasional reviews and revisions.

Fake Genuine graphic

Headline format

Label: Fact-checking conclusion

Labels

False

The claim is demonstrably false. The photo/video has been doctored. Main debunking is about the claim and/or the authenticity of photo/video.

Misleading

Non-altered (not manipulated) evidence is used out of context or in a misleading way. The key evidence may be fact-based, but the claim and information associated with the evidence is not true.

No evidence

The claim cannot be substantiated with evidence in any way. Used when the information (or the association of cherry-picked facts) is likely fabricated — a conspiracy theory, for example.

Investigation

The story looks into a series of misinformation and/or its ecosystem on a specific topic. It tries to verify multiple claims.

Analysis

A shorter investigation story.

Explainer

The story tries to explain a complex background history and other relevant information surrounding persistent misinformation.

Verified

The claim has been independently verified.

Just in case

This label is used when a claim is clearly fiction, satire, or commentary (opinion) but some users are observably mistaking it as fact.

Guideline

  • We strive to adhere to the globally recognized standards set by the International Fact-checking Network (IFCN) and its Code of Principles.
  • We do not take any political position or advocate for any course of action.
  • Every fact check by students is subject to editorial scrutiny by the faculty members at the Journalism & Media Studies Centre.

Naming and contacting the source(s) of misinformation

  • When the misinformation comes from public figures or organizations, we reveal their names, images, and other information as shown on their websites and/or social media accounts.
  • We will also reveal the sources when we can demonstrate they have produced and/or disseminated falsehood as part of political smear campaigns, scams, and other activities clearly intended to deceive others.
  • We will anonymize real names, obscure the faces and leave out identifiable information when the sources do not seem ill-intentioned; however, we will still link to their original posts and writings even if they carry such information.
  • Whenever possible, we will reach out to the original source(s) before we publish our fact-checking stories.

Correction policy

  • When mistakes are made, we will correct the information in the original story with a clear indication of what has been changed. We will subsequently correct our relevant social media posts as well.

Verification methods and criteria

  • To judge something is true or false, we gather first-hand information and supporting evidence as much as possible.
  • All evidence collected in the verification process will be included in the story with links, embeds, screen captures, or in other appropriate forms.
  • We try to present our story in such a way that the audience could replicate our process before reaching the conclusion.
  • We select potentially problematic claims by evaluating their probable harm (if not true). It is the first criterion when deciding what to fact check.
  • The significance of misinformation is also assessed by its audience reach (the number of shares, comments, likes, views, etc.) in our process.
  • Unless we are absolutely certain about the conclusion, we will not publish any story.