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.
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.
- Claims and statements made by verified and known personalities or government entities.
- Images or videos running under a hashtag or a key word which influences public opinion in favour of a community or a political party.
- Requests from social media users to bring a claim to the attention for analysis or fact checking.
- Keeping in mind the volume of fake news spreading in a day. We usually assess which claims to fact check based on:
- How popular/viral is the claim?
- How likely is it going to cause harm to individuals or a community?
- 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, Yandex, etc. to verify fake/doctored images. We also use search engine filters to sort the results into date, time and location. Additionally, we use tools such as InVid and 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.