FactCheck Georgia

Organization: FactCheck Georgia
Applicant: Paata Gaprindashvili
Assessor: Oleg Khomenok

Background

FactCheck.ge has strong background and previous experience in factchecking, newsroom team does important work debunking disinformation. 

Assessment Conclusion

FactCheck.ge is fully meets all criteria for signatories.

on 09-Aug-2021 (3 months ago)

Oleg Khomenok assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

უაღრესად პროფესიონალური და პატივმოყვარე გუნდი, რომელიც ასრულებს მნიშვნელოვან სამუშაოს სამოქალაქო საზოგადოებისთვის.

Section 1: Eligibility to be a signatory

To be eligible to be a signatory, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 1.1 The applicant is a legally registered organization, or a distinct team or unit within a legally registered organization, and details of this are easily found on its website.
  • 1.2 The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.
  • 1.3 The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application. For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track. Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.
  • 1.4 On average, at least 75% of the applicant’s fact checks focus on claims related to issues that, in the view of the IFCN, relate to or could have an impact on the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society.
  • 1.5 The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.
  • 1.6 If the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, it provides a statement on its site setting out to the satisfaction of the IFCN, how it ensures its funders do not influence the findings of its reports.

Criteria 1.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain where on your website you set out information about your organization’s legal status and how this complies with criteria. Attach a link to the relevant page of your website.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

As indicated in the About Us section of the project website (see: https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb), FactCheck Georgia is a project of Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS), a non-partisan, non-governmental policy watchdog and think tank (https://grass.org.ge/en). GRASS is legally registered at the National Agency of Public Registry. Please find the registration document attached below.

The About Us section on the GRASS's website outlines the mission of the organization and mentions the date it was established (https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi). In addition, the information about the founders of the organization (see: https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi/damphudzneblebi), as well as about the board members (https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi/board) are accessible for the public. 

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Registration Documen... (23 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

FactCheck Georgia is the project of Georgia's Reforms Associates (GRASS), non-government and non-profit organisation legally registered in Georgia that is confirmed by the copy of Registration Certificate. This information can easily be found on https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb 


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 1.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please answer the following questions – (see notes in Guidelines for Application on how to answer)

 1. When and why was your fact-checking operation started?
 2. How many people work or volunteer in the organization and what are their roles?
 3. What different activities does your organization carry out?
 4. What are the goals of your fact-checking operation over the coming year?

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Established in 2013, FactCheck Georgia (https://factcheck.ge/en) is an innovative media project in Georgia, piloted and implemented by Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS). As of now, twenty-four people work for the project, out of which fifteen represent fact-check experts, who specialize in different fields, such as journalism, economics, law and judiciary, international relations, public policy and good governance, education, propaganda, disinformation, etc. The rest of them includes managerial and administrative staff members, such as project director, project coordinator, project assistant, financial manager, social media manager, and so on. 

Following establishing a partnership with Facebook we have engaged around 40 volunteers, who have contributed to the project by monitoring and providing links to disinformation and fake news. In addition, we regularly offer internship opportunities to young people in Georgia, together with training them and involving in relevant project activities. 

FactCheck’s main objectives are as follows: (1) providing precise, accurate, and evidence-based information to readers; (2) increasing the accountability and responsibility of politicians to their constituencies; (3) promoting the development of fact-based political rhetoric; (4) fighting against fake news and propaganda by providing verified facts to our readers. To this end, FactCheck’s team monitors MPs, the president, government officials, and other public figures and highlights the factual accuracies and inaccuracies in their statements. In terms of fighting against dis/misinformation and online hoaxes, FactCheck team monitors Facebook as well as different online media outlets on a daily basis.

In September 2020, FactCheck Georgia established a partnership with Facebook, within which the disinformation that is fact-checked by GRASS is labeled by Facebook as false news and demoted, meaning that fewer people are able to see it and whoever publishes or shares that story is notified from Facebook that the piece contains false news. This partnership has made it possible for FactCheck to outreach those information ecosystems on Facebook, where disinformation is most prevalent. Recently, Facebook granted a permit to label fake news in Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Russian languages, thereby creating an opportunity to outreach respectively minorities within the country and communities in the conflict regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 

At the moment, apart from monitoring the statements of public figures, FactCheck Georgia is focused on exposing COVID-19-related misinformation and implements an information campaign to increase public awareness and immunity against manipulation. Furthermore, the project plans to actively fact-check the upcoming local self-government elections and verify the statements, promises, and party programs of different political forces, public figures, and election candidates. Other than this, our team will continue to monitor and analyze actual public policy decisions and developments over the coming year. 

FactCheck Georgia is strengthening its role in the whole South Caucasus region as well. We assisted Azerbaijani colleagues in establishing a local fact-checking platform and recently applied for a joint initiative, which envisages further trainings from us in exposing fake news and disinformation and producing fact-checking content overall. More importantly, with the 2021 Armenian parliamentary election approaching and having no local IFCN verified organization to work with, recently Facebook has contacted GRASS/FactCheck Georgia to expand our cooperation over fact-checking Armenian content on the platform for a coming two-month period. We have agreed to this offer and hired local highly skilled journalists with fact-checking experience to debunk disinformation and provide the citizens of Armenia with the verified information regarding the 2021 parliamentary elections.

FactCheck will also continue to focus on the regions populated by ethnic Armenian and Azerbaijani minorities, where a lack of knowledge in the Georgian language, as well as a low quality of media content, make them even more vulnerable to political manipulation and fake news. They amount to around 11% of the local population and we provide them with our content in their native languages. 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

FactCheck Georgia initially was set up for exclusively fact-checking purposes and until now is performing this mission.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 1.3
Proof you meet criteria
- The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.
- For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track.
- Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Since 2013, FactCheck Georgia published over three thousand articles. All articles can be accessed through this link – Georgian: https://factcheck.ge/ka/stories/archive; English: https://factcheck.ge/en/stories/archive. A part of the articles is published in English. 

All articles have indicated a date of publication. As you can see on the web page, at least one article is published in the Georgian language in a day over the last six months and before. Some articles are published in English, Russian, Azerbaijani, and Armenian languages. 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

During last 12 months FactCheck Georgia had published daily factchecking publications in Georgian language. English language stories feed during last 12 months published several stories per week. Also FactCheck Georgia is publishing every month several publications in Armenian, Azeri, and Russian (since March 2021). 


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 1.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous three months. No additional information required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Most of the publications that I tracked since May 2021 are focused on socially important topics including COVID-19, vaccination, unemployment, economy, and other topics that have a direct impact on public welfare. 


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 1.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship your organization has to the state, politicians or political parties in the country or countries you cover. Also explain funding or support received from foreign as well as local state or political actors over the previous financial year.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

FactCheck Georgia does not have any kind of commercial, financial, and/or institutional relationship with the state, politicians, or political parties. Nor we have received funding or support from foreign as well as local state or political actors. As the methodology document of the project points out, FactCheck Georgia is politically independent and nonpartisan (see: https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია). Its nonpartisanship is proved by the articles published on the project website and the verdicts, which are based on objective analysis of information. Partnerships and accountability with donor organizations, such as USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, German Marshall Fund, European Endowment for Democracy, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia, US Embassy in Georgia also attest to the impartiality of the project. 

According to the guideline document for FactCheck-analysts (please see attached), project team members are obliged to leave their political preferences behind and maintain absolute nonpartisanship during fact-checking. In addition, biographies of FactCheck team members are transparent and published on the project website (see: https://factcheck.ge/ka/chven-shesaxeb/team), demonstrating that they are not affiliated with political parties. In addition, Facebook's partnership with our project (as mentioned above) also proves FactCheck Georgia's impartiality.  

As for the organization, GRASS is non-partisan and with its activities, it only aims to benefit the public interests. GRASS as a whole and FactCheck Georgia, in particular, do not advocate for any political party or candidate. Nonpartisanship is one of the major requirements applied to job candidates during the selection process. In addition, if any member of the organization will decide to join or advocate for any political organization, it automatically results in termination of the labor agreement and he/she is dismissed from GRASS.

Files Attached
description Guideline-for-FactCh... (17 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In the publications that I tracked since May 2021 evidently FactCheck Georgia has no preferences toward any governmental body or political party and seems doesn't been affected by any political party or government.

FactCheck Georgia received funds from foreign state actors like USAID, the Dutch government but it is clearly stated on the website that "The views and opinions expressed on this website belong to Factcheck.ge and are not the views and opinions of project support organizations".


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 1.6
Proof you meet criteria
If you confirmed the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, provide a link to where on your website you set out how you ensure the editorial independence of your work.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

N/A 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Under this link https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია there is a detailed description of how FactCheck Georgia is setting up editorial independence and impartiality. 

As it was stated in the previous criteria at the bottom of the landing page there is a clear statement "The views and opinions expressed on this website belong to Factcheck.ge and are not the views and opinions of project support organizations".


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Section 2: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

To be compliant on nonpartisanship and fairness, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 2.1 The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.
  • 2.2 The applicant does not unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side, considers the reach and importance of claims it selects to check and publishes a short statement on its website to set out how it selects claims to check.
  • 2.3 The applicant discloses in its fact checks relevant interests of the sources it quotes where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided. It also discloses in its fact checks any commercial or other such relationships it has that a member of the public might reasonably conclude could influence the findings of the fact check.
  • 2.4 The applicant is not as an organization affiliated with nor declares or shows support for any party, any politician or political candidate, nor does it advocate for or against any policy positions on any issues save for transparency and accuracy in public debate.
  • 2.5 The applicant sets out its policy on non-partisanship for staff on its site. Save for the issues of accuracy and transparency, the applicant’s staff do not get involved in advocacy or publicise their views on policy issues the organization might fact check in such a way as might lead a reasonable member of the public to see the organization’s work as biased.

Criteria 2.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please share links to 10 fact checks published over the past year that you believe demonstrate your non-partisanship.
Please briefly explain how the fact checks selected show that (I) you use the same high standards of evidence for equivalent claims, (II) follow the same essential process for every fact check and (III) let the evidence dictate your conclusions.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

1. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38560-giorgi-vashadze-after-the-georgian-dream-s-eight-year-rule-gel-1-value-is-now-gel-0-5 - Giorgi Vashadze, head of the opposition party – Strategy Aghmashenebeli, verdict – Mostly False

2. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38568-ivane-machavariani-georgia-s-budget-transparency-index-is-one-of-the-highest - Ivane Machavariani, minister of finance, verdict – True

3. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38591-natia-turnava-s-p-and-fitch-left-georgia-s-ratings-unchanged-which-indicates-that-the-georgian-economy-augurs-well-for-investors-in-light-of-the-pandemic-induced-global-challenge - Natia Turnava, minister of economy, verdict – mostly false

4. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38657-დასაქმებულთა-რიცხვი-2016-2019-წლებში-45-ათასით-2020-წლის-ii-კვარტალში-კი-33-ათასით-შემცირდა - Giga Bokeria, head of the opposition party – European Georgia, verdict – True

5. https://factcheck.ge/ka/story/39329-ქართული-ოცნების-არასწორი-ეკონომიკური-პოლიტიკის-შედეგი-სახელმწიფო-საგარეო-ვალმა-დაწესებულ-ლიმიტს-გადააჭარბა - Statement of the opposition party - European Georgia, verdict - Lie

6. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38785-irakli-kobakhidze-the-population-dropped-by-nearly-230-000-under-the-previous-government-since-2014-there-has-not-been-a-population-decline - Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling party – Georgian Dream, verdict – half true

7. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38878-პარლამენტის-გადასაწყვეტია-დაატოვებინებს-თუ-არა-პარლამენტის-წევრს-პარლამენტს - Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling party – Georgian Dream, verdict – lie

8. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38965-mikheil-saakashvili-when-i-became-president-the-gdp-per-capita-was-usd-980-and-when-i-finished-my-presidency-the-gdp-per-capita-was-usd-4-000-under-ivanishvili-s-georgian-dream-in-power-rule-the-economy-increased-by-0-in-usd-we-had-a-fourfold-economic-gro - Mikheil Saakashvili, leader of the opposition party – United National Movement, verdict – Manipulation of Facts

9. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38956-bidzina-ivanishvili-we-gave-rise-to-progress-and-reduced-poverty - Bidzina Ivanishvili, former prime minister and chairman of the ruling party Georgian Dream, verdict – Manipulation of Facts

10. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/39277--investments-are-at-15-year-low-and-such-a-drop-in-investments-did-not-even-happen-in-the-war-period - Gigla Mikautadze - a member of the opposition party – Lelo, verdict - Mostly True

These examples among many others demonstrate that FactCheck Georgia is committed to nonpartisanship and fairness. No matter fact-check is applied to the representatives of the government or opposition parties, verdicts are issued in compliance with the accuracy of their statements. Archive materials published on the project web page prove that FactCheck Georgia responds directly to the importance of adhering to the principles of defendable fact-based research, journalistic integrity on the highest of professional levels, unbiased and fairness in reporting, and the accountability and transparency of sources.

Fact-checkers work according to an internal FactCheck Guideline document developed in 2013. The document has been subject to several updates and improvements and to a large degree, corresponded to the FactChecker’s Code of Principles before it was established. FactCheck Guideline contributes to maintaining coherent standards by establishing a set of rules for fact-checkers concerning the structure of articles, writing style, duties, terms, timelines, and procedures, etc. (please see attached).

In addition, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting are ongoing throughout the course of the project. The project team regularly meets to discuss project activity and implementation, propose and implement troubleshooting mechanisms as needed and prepare and submit all internal and donor reports according to pre-established timelines.

Naturally, FactCheck recognizes the possibility that mistakes can occur in the process of writing and finalizing the articles. Therefore, should politicians or public figures disagree with our assessment of their statements (or any of our readers as well), FactCheck encourages them to provide us with a relevant argument. Received proofs are closely examined by the FactCheck board and in the event of their validity, we revise or amend our research as well as the verdict accordingly.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Selected stories analysis shows fair, equal and non-artisan approach to defining claims and verification of them. Detailed step-by-step guide published here https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია is used for ensuring equal treatment.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 2.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you explain how you select claims to check, explaining how you ensure you do not unduly concentrate your fact-checking on any one side, and how you consider the reach and importance of the claims you select to check.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

FactCheck Georgia's web-page publishes thorough methodology (https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია) detailing FactCheck’s working principles, which complements with the code of principles elaborated by International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). The methodology explains the whole working routine of the project as regards the following: how do we identify facts for verification; what kind of topics are given priorities for analysis; how do we collect data; how verdicts are issued, etc.

According to this methodology, one of the objectives of our work is to keep the balance. Although FactCheck’s analysts select statements for verification based on facts given in the statements, it can happen frequently that we find numerous statements of one party/politician whilst none can be found on other parties/politician. Here we are not to blame; however, we still try to equally cover all the parties/politicians and make sure that articles dedicated to their statements are somehow equal as well. This approach is particularly important during the election campaign period.

In terms of fighting against online dis/misinformation, the fact-checkable content is selected in a number of ways: a) Facebook provides links to the content that according to the algorithm might include misinformation; b) fact-checkers monitor online media outlets as well as Facebook accounts (individual users, pages, groups) that are suspected to be spreading mis/disinformation for different purposes (e.g. clickbaits for economic interests, anti-vaxx community, etc.) c) our volunteers and readers provide links for fact-checking. After collecting information through these methods, an editor and relevant fact-checkers decide whether to FactCheck specific content. The decision is stipulated by a) relevance of issues to citizens; b) virality of the dis/misinformation;


Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

FactCheck.ge is using advanced and detailed methodology of selection of selection of clams describing the sources of claims, decision making principles, factors and reasons. This document is published here https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია  


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 2.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Control checks of several stories published during last 12 months has proven using the same methodology for all claims, the sources used by FactCheck.ge to confirm facts are neutral and don't influence the accuracy of the factcheck. 


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 2.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Control checks of several stories published during last 12 months had shown no evidences of support of any political party or politician or company, publications reviewed are neither supporting any policy nor advocating any initiative.                                                                                                           


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 2.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you publish a statement setting out your policy on non-partisanship for staff and how it ensures the organization meets this criteria.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The methodology of FactCheck Georgia (see: https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია) outlines three key objectives of our work, which are as follow: (1) Finding the Truth – It is FactCheck’s top objective to show the reader where the truth is. (2) Transparency of Sources – Making references to all sources used in an article. (3) Multiple Verification – Verification of facts and data as many times and as many sources as possible. In addition, it precisely determines the major standards and principles for FactCheckers to conduct their work. Depending on these principles leave no space for partisanship and make our work unbiased and objective.

Furthermore, As a verified signatory of IFCN, we also publish its main principles (https://factcheck.ge/en/სარედაქციო-კოდექსი) on our website let readers know to what standards we are adhering as an organization. Finally, FactCheck Georgia works in consideration of the internal guideline for FactCheck analysts (please find attached), which mentions non-partisanship as the main obligation for FactCheck team members. 

Files Attached
description Guideline-for-FactCh... (17 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The Code of conduct  and Methodology published on the FactCheck.ge have clear statements regarding preventing possible conflict of interest or support of political parties or any kind of bias or partisanship.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Section 3: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

To be compliant on sources, applicants must meet these four criteria

  • 3.1 The applicant identifies the source of all significant evidence used in their fact checks, providing relevant links where the source is available online, in such a way that users can replicate their work if they wish. In cases where identifying the source would compromise the source’s personal security, the applicant provides as much detail as compatible with the source’s safety.
  • 3.2 The applicant uses the best available primary, not secondary, sources of evidence wherever suitable primary sources are available. Where suitable primary sources are not available, the applicant explains the use of a secondary source.
  • 3.3 The applicant checks all key elements of claims against more than one named source of evidence save where the one source is the only source relevant on the topic.
  • 3.4 The applicant identifies in its fact checks the relevant interests of the sources it uses where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided.

Criteria 3.1
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Random check of several stories published during last 12 months confirmed that in all cases FactCheck.ge identifies the sources of information proving or undermining facts that are checked including direct links to reliable information or source.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 3.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Random check of several stories published during last 12 months shows that in all cases the primary sources for verification are used.                                                                                                           


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 3.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Random check of several stories published during last 12 months had shown that the newsroom team is always looking for more than one source of facts and evidences and doing in-depth analysis of the claims that are verified.                                                                                                           


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 3.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In most of cases FactCheck.ge is using neutral and unbiased sources for verification of facts but if it goes about politicians they clearly  notice the interest of these sources.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Section 4: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

To be compliant on funding and organization, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 4.1 Applicants that are independent organizations have a page on their website detailing each source of funding accounting for 5% or more of total revenue for its previous financial year. This page also sets out the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
  • 4.2 Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.
  • 4.3 A statement on the applicant’s website sets out the applicant’s organizational structure and makes clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.
  • 4.4 A page on the applicant’s website details the professional biography of all those who, according to the organizational structure and play a significant part in its editorial output.
  • 4.5 The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Criteria 4.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please confirm whether you are an ‘independent organization’
or ‘the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization’ and share proof of this organizational status.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

FactCheck Georgia is a project of Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS), an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental policy watchdog and think tank (https://grass.org.ge/en). GRASS is legally registered at the National Agency of Public Registry. Please find the registration document attached below.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Registration Documen... (23 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

FactCheck.ge is the project of NGO Georgian Reforms Associates (GRASS) that is registered as non-profit and non-government organisation.  The website of GRASS has the page https://grass.org.ge/en/projects identifying all sources of funding of FactCheck.ge


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 4.2
Proof you meet criteria
If your organization is an “independent organization”, please share a link to the page on your website where you detail your funding and indicate the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
If your organization is “the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization”, please share a link to the statement on your website about your ownership.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The About Us section on GRASS's website mentions that GRASS is a non-partisan, non-governmental policy watchdog and multi-profile think tank which provides policy recommendations to the government, conducts research-based analysis and raises public interest and awareness on a wide range of public policy issues (see: shorturl.at/kyBH1). GRASS publicly lists sources of funding for each project, including for FactCheck, on its web-page.

See: http://grass.org.ge/en/projects/

FactCheck Georgia places the badges of the project donor organizations on its website:

See: https://factcheck.ge/en/პროექტის-მხარდამჭერები 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

FactCheck is noted as the project at Grass website https://grass.org.ge/en/projects 

At the same time GRASS is noted as the founder of FactCheck.ge at https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb 


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 4.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out your organizational structure, making clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

A supreme managing body of GRASS is a board, which is composed of respected individuals from academic and CSO fields (see the biographies of board members: https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi/board). The board is responsible for determining the strategic direction of the organization and ensuring its independence from political or any kind of malign influence.

The daily decisions in GRASS are made by the central staff of the organization, including the director, project managers, project coordinators, and financial manager. FactCheck editor is accountable to the director. However, the director is solely engaged in the managerial side of the project and does not interfere in editorial independence. As noted in the FactCheck Georgia's methodology (see: https://bit.ly/2UTboPv) editorial procedures are as follow:

When FactCheck’s analyst finishes an article, he/she informs FactCheck’s editor (and chief economist if the article is on the economy), and the process of redacting the article begins. In the process of editing the article, the editor provides comments on the content and style as well as remarks of a technical character as required. In this process, the article might return to the author with respective comments/remarks until it is finalized. After the editing stage of the article is finished, the editor-in-chief and the author of an article agree on the final verdict and the article is then published on FactCheck’s website. If the two cannot reach a respective consensus, the verdict issue is reviewed by the editorial board and the decision is made through voting.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The organisational management procedure and editorial control system are in a good shape and  described here https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია 


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 4.4
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out the professional biographies of those who play a significant part in your organization’s editorial output.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

FactCheck Team: https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/team (please click on the names for biographies)

GRASS Team: https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi/our-team  

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Both GRASS and FactCheck.ge have sections at their websites with detailed information about team members.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 4.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you encourage users to communicate with your editorial team.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

At the end of the FactCheck Methodology document (see: https://bit.ly/2UTboPv) readers are invited to interact with FactCheck Georgia should they have any questions. To this end, e-mail address, telephone numbers, and Facebook address are indicated. In addition:

- Readers can send their claims through the contact section of the project web-page, which allows them to directly send their message to the project team - https://factcheck.ge/en/contact

- FactCheck offers a service, Check Your Fact, which gives the public an opportunity to verify facts that are of particular interest to them - https://factcheck.ge/en/check-your-fact

- This year FactCheck Georgia developed a chatbot on its web-page, which is also capable of providing readers with basing information. 

- We engage with the audience mostly with the Facebook page, where readers can comment on each of our content or directly send inbox messages to our team. 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Contact button located at the top of the landing page that leads to this page https://factcheck.ge/en/contact is easily to be found and gives fast solution to those who would like to give a feedback to the newsroom.

"Check your Facts" button is another good option to communicate.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social networks are another channels of communication with the audience.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Section 5: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

To be compliant on methodology, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 5.1 The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.
  • 5.2 The applicant selects claims to check based primarily on the reach and importance of the claims, and where possible explains the reason for choosing the claim to check.
  • 5.3 The applicant sets out in its fact checks relevant evidence that appears to support the claim as well as relevant evidence that appears to undermine it.
  • 5.4 The applicant in its fact checks assesses the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim.
  • 5.5 The applicant seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim to seek supporting evidence, noting that (I) this is often not possible with online claims, (II) if the person who makes the claim fails to reply in a timely way this should not impede the fact check, (III) if a speaker adds caveats to the claim, the fact-checker should be free to continue with checking the original claim, (IV) fact-checkers may not wish to contact the person who made the claim for safety or other legitimate reasons.
  • 5.6 The applicant encourages users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable.

Criteria 5.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to the statement on your website that explains the methodology you use to select, research, write and publish your fact checks.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

FactCheck Methodology: https://bit.ly/2UTboPv

Please find attached the guideline document below:            

Files Attached
description Guideline-for-FactCh... (17 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Thorough and detailed methodology os published here https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია 


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 5.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Review of a dozen of stories published during last 3 month showed use the same approach and methodology in selecting claims principles asa well as verification process. The topics selected for verification are based on importance to the society and public interest criteria.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 5.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Review of a dozen of stories published during last 3 month shows that the newsroom is seeking equally for both, proving and undermining claim facts providing them to the reader.                                                                                                          


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 5.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Review of a dozen of stories published during last 3 month showed that FactCheck.ge assessed a number of claims made by both Government officials and Opposition leaders with equal treatment and standards to all of them.                                                                                                            


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 5.5
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Review of a dozen of stories published during last 3 month showed that FactCheck.ge  newsroom is trying to contact the source of claim as well as using alternate sources.                                                                                                          


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 5.6
Proof you meet criteria
Please describe how you encourage users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable. Include links where appropriate. If you do not allow this, explain why.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

FactCheck offers a service, Check Your Fact (https://factcheck.ge/en/check-your-fact), which gives the public an opportunity to verify facts that are of particular interest to them. Readers can also send their claims through the contact section of the project web page (https://factcheck.ge/en/contact) which allows them to directly submit their messages to the project team. In addition, we engage with the audience with our Facebook page, where readers can comment on each of our content or directly send inbox messages to our team. (https://www.facebook.com/Factcheck.ge).   

In addition, FactCheck Georgia proactively invites readers to send claims they are willing to check through posters with a call for action and short video clips on Facebook (see: shorturl.at/lEMU3; shorturl.at/iIST1) as well as through the newly launched chatbot – FactChat (it pops as users enter our web-page: https://factcheck.ge/ka?). Furthermore, since FactCheck Georgia joined Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program, we have expanded a pool of volunteers who regularly send us links they find suspicious.                         

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

"Check your Facts" button located at the upper right corner of the screen is the excellent tool leading to the form that anybody can fill and submit.

Another very good tool is using Facebook for encouraging users to send facts to be checked as well as placing video explainers and using chatbot.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Section 6: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

To be compliant on corrections policy, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 6.1 The applicant has a corrections or complaints policy that is easily visible and accessible on the organization’s website or frequently referenced in broadcasts.
  • 6.2 The policy sets out clear definitions of what it does and does not cover, how major mistakes, especially those requiring revised conclusions of a fact check, are handled, and the fact that some complaints may justify no response. This policy is adhered to scrupulously.
  • 6.3 Where credible evidence is provided that the applicant has made a mistake worthy of correction, the applicant makes a correction openly and transparently, seeking as far as possible to ensure that users of the original see the correction and the corrected version.
  • 6.4 The applicant, if an existing signatory, should either on its corrections/complaints page or on the page where it declares itself an IFCN signatory inform users that if they believe the signatory is violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site.
  • 6.5 If the applicant is the fact-checking unit of a media company, it is a requirement of signatory status that the parent media company has and adheres to an open and honest corrections policy.

Criteria 6.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to where you publish on your website your corrections or complaints policy. If you are primarily a broadcaster, please provide evidence you frequently reference your corrections policy in broadcasts.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Correction policy is part of the project’s methodology. Particularly, FactCheck Georgia allows for the possibility that a mistake can occur in its work. Therefore, in the case politicians or readers disagree with particular research and judgment, FactCheck Georgia urges them to provide their claims and arguments. Received information is closely examined by the FactCheck board in due time and in the event of their validity, research, as well as the verdict, is revised or corrected accordingly.

In the case, if a significant piece of information is added to the research/article, but the addition does not lead to a change of the verdict, we revise our article; however, if the added information alters the issued verdict the article is corrected. This practice serves the purpose of ensuring maximum objectivity and political impartiality in FactCheck’s work.

Please see "Rectifying Mistakes in FactCheck’s Article" in the FactCheck Methodology: https://bit.ly/2UTboPv  

In addition, concerning the articles that are used for Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program, FactCheck Georgia has published a separate guideline on issuing correction and appeals for the Facebook publishers (see: https://factcheck.ge/en/Dispute-Correction). We have also created a separate email address (appeals@factcheck.ge) that is used for the appeals/correction requests within FactCheck’s work of Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 6.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the corrections policy to verify it meets critera. No additional information needed.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Reviewing of  FactCheck.ge correction policy and dispute/correction guideline made me sure that both meet the criteria and set the rules of identifying, treating, correcting mistakes as well as correcting/updating verdicts and ratings.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 6.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a short statement about how the policy was adhered to over the previous year (or six months if this is the first application) including evidence of two examples of the responses provided by the applicant to a correction request over the previous year. Where no correction request has been made in the previous year, you must state this in your application, which will be publicly available in the assessment if your application is successful.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

1. FactCheck Updated Articles in Line with the ISFED’s Statement- https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38906-editorial-letter-factcheck-updated-articles-in-line-with-the-isfed-s-statement (International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) is a non-governmental organization focused on monitoring elections) 

Note: After the ISFED released a statement on the identification of a technical fault in the vote calculation formula in PVT results, FactCheck reviewed several articles. As one of the signatories of the IFCN, FactCheck should abide to the commitments provided by its own Code of Principles which says clearly that FactCheck has a commitment to re-analyse and correct articles. This commitment is enshrined in Principle 5 of FactCheck’c Code of Principles, saying that “[IFCN] signatories publish their corrections policy and follow it scrupulously. They correct clearly and transparently in line with the corrections policy, seeking so far as possible to ensure that readers see the corrected version.”

This editorial letter includes those articles and remarks, including their respective URLs, which have been verified anew subsequent to the ISFED’s statement.


2. https://www.factcheck.ge/en/story/38829-tea-tsulukiani-the-opposition-does-not-have-any-weighty-argument-that-the-elections-were-rigged 

Note: To reach the verdict in the article, FactCheck mostly relied on ISFED’s parallel vote tabulation results. According to these results, mismatches were found at 8% of the polling stations and their impact on election results would be less than 4.1%.

On 11 December 2020, the ISFED released a statement on the identification of technical fault in the vote calculation formula. As a result, given the margin of error, the ISFED’s PVT results are now in line with the CEC’s official results.

Given the aforementioned change, the results of ISFED’s PVT can no longer be used as a “weighty” argument that the elections were rigged. However, other circumstances which perhaps are not named in the article but are emphasized by NGOs, including international organizations, will still be taken into account. These circumstances are: leaving complaints en masse without consideration, the so-called “carousels” and violations during the pre-election campaign (use of administrative resources, pressure, intimidation, etc.), which are also highlighted by the ISFED. Therefore, the verdict of LIE was changed into the verdict of HALF TRUE.


3. https://factcheck.ge/ka/story/39326-მანამდე-ერთი-კვირა-იყო-გავრილოვი-აქ-და-ფეხებზე-ეკიდა-სუყველას 

Note: In the original version of the article, Lie was marked as the verdict of the statement. As a result of communication with the reader, the verdict was clarified and replaced by a half-true verdict. A corresponding change has been made in the justification as well and the concluding part of the article is indicated in such a way that it is easily noticeable to the reader.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Provided examples are showing that correction policy of FactCheck.ge is correctly and honestly applied in the cases where correction or update is needed.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 6.4
Proof you meet criteria
If you are an existing signatory, please provide a link to show where on your site you inform users that if they believe you are violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN of this, with a link to the complaints page on the IFCN site.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

FactCheck Georgia publishes the code of principles on its site (https://factcheck.ge/ka/სარედაქციო-კოდექსი). The same page allows readers to submit a complaint to IFCN If they believe that FactCheck Georgia is violating these principles. A link to the complaints page on the IFCN site is also provided.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The Code of conduct published here https://factcheck.ge/ka/სარედაქციო-კოდექსი has all needed information so if the website user will need to file the complaint to IFCN it can be easily done.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

Criteria 6.5
Proof you meet criteria
If you are the fact-checking unit of a media company, please provide a link to the parent media company’s honest and open corrections policy and provide evidence that it adheres to this.

FactCheck Georgia
15-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

N/A 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
08-Aug-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

FactCheck.ge is solely factchecking project and has all information on the own web-site.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.