Digital Forensics, Research and Analytics Centre (D-FRAC) is a non-partisan and independent media organisation which focuses on fact-checking and identifying hate speech. With the popularisation of the internet came the challenge of information overload and often times, our feeds are overpopulated with conflicting, incendiary and false information which is increasingly becoming difficult to ignore and not believe in.
In the era of deep fakes, disinformation and misinformation, we believe in the importance of fact-checking claims that often pose harm to communities and individuals in one way or another. Online hate speech is a type of speech that takes place on the internet with the purpose of attacking a person or a group based on their race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.
Online hate speech is the expression of conflicts between different groups within and across societies. Online hate speech is a vivid example of how the Internet brings both opportunities and challenges regarding the freedom of expression and speech while also defending human dignity.
While it is very difficult to decipher what is hate speech and what is not, through our opinion pieces we aim to bring to light glaring instances of hate speech which can and do cause serious harm to certain groups of people or individuals.
- Transparent Approach to Fact-Checking: DFRAC aims to be extremely transparent about the methods and approaches used when it comes to fact-checking. It shall always attempt to explain in detail why something is false or misleading. The organisation aims to create media literacy and encourage its readers to evaluate the claims on their own as well.
- Nonpartisan Approach: DRFAC is a nonpartisan organisation by nature and does not turn a blind eye to one particular party or ideology. It is committed to providing nonpartisan fact-checks because facts cannot favour or not favour someone.
- Evidence-Based Analysis: DFRAC uses all available data in the public domain to fact-check a claim. We use tools such as reverse image searches and data analysis along with reaching out to verified resources to make sure that we leave no stone unturned. We always provide links to sources in our fact-checks so that the readers too can read the information for themselves.
- Finding a claim to fact-check:
- DFRAC’s fact-checkers are constantly tracking twitter posts, news websites and channels, speeches of popular and eminent personalities such as political party members and trying to assess whether the claim made by them sounds very provocative or wrong. If it is likely to cause contention within different communities, it must be fact-checked. We also see how likely it is for the claim to be passed on and how sensationalized it is.
- We usually assess which claims to fact check based on (a) How popular/viral is the claim? (b) How likely is it going to cause harm to individuals or a community? (c ) Has it been posted/said by a prominent personality/verified account or has a large number of followers.
- Tools we use: We use open and free tools such as Google’s reverse image search to verify fake/doctored images. We also use search engine filters to sort the results into date,time and location. Additionally, we reach out to organisations and people who have made the statement and ask for additional information to verify the claim.We contact relevant government bodies for primary data to verify the claims. We also engage with subject matter experts on the same.
- Writing the fact-check pieces: DFRAC aims to present the evidence in the most succinct form possible. We write our fact-check pieces keeping in mind it’s readability and providing all the relevant information in the form of images, links and reports. Our fact-checks are aimed to display clarity of thought and simple to understand.
- Keeping the articles up-to-date: We frequently update our articles which have been written on developing stories. News functions on a 24 hour cycle and the lively nature of information means that some articles need to be updated with new and relevant information when we come across it.
- At DFRAC, our team tries to get as close to the truth as possible. But everyone is prone to mistakes once in a while. We encourage our readers to point out any mistakes in our fact-checks through emailing us at : [email protected] All articles to which corrections have been made will always be marked with a sufficient explanation and updated information.
DFRAC immensely values the privacy of our readers and we want to remain as transparent as possible about the kind of information we are using.
- Log Files: DFRAC uses your log files which include internet protocol ( IP ) addresses, type of browser, Internet Service Provider ( ISP ), date/time stamp, referring/exit pages, and the number of clicks to analyse trends, administer the site, track user’s movement around the site, and gather demographic information. All of this is not personally identifiable.
- Google Analytics: We use Google Analytics to help us understand our reader demographics and behaviours.
- Tip Line: We have a contact form on our website for those who wish to contact us and wish to submit a claim they want fact-checked. The information you provide us with here is not used for anything else but to keep a track of the queries and help us respond to your query better.
Please feel free to reach out to us for any queries that you might have at: [email protected]