Factcheck Lab

Organization: Factcheck Lab
Applicant: Cheng Ka Yue
Assessor: Rebecca MacKinnon

Background

The need for robust, independent, and objective fact-checking in Hong Kong could not be more urgent, given the closure in June 2021 of the mass-circulation daily newspaper Apple Daily whose publisher and editors were openly critical of the government of the People’s Republic of China and the Hong Kong government, as well as the deletion in 2021 of vast amounts of online content previously published by smaller independent outlets and citizen journalists fearing reprisal under the new National Security Law that went into force in 2020. Launched in May 2020 with its first fact-check published in June 2020, Factcheck Lab applied for IFCN assessment in late November 2020 and continued to publish fact-checks as it has awaited assessment. Factcheck Lab is an independent fact-checking project of the Culture & Media Education Foundation, a registered Hong Kong charity which supports a range of projects focused on media literacy, media education, citizen participation in the creation of media, cultural exchange, policy research, and citizen journalism. 

Assessment Conclusion

Factcheck Lab rigorously assesses claims related to current events and cultural issues with clear public interest value to the people of Hong Kong. Its fact checks cover claims related to local and health and environmental information, claims about events in Hong Kong, and claims related to the PRC’s relationship to the U.S., UK, Europe, Taiwan and elsewhere on matters that have direct or long-term implications for Hong Kong’s people. It is fully compliant with all IFCN criteria.

on 28-Jul-2021 (4 months ago)

Rebecca MacKinnon assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

事實查核實驗室是香港首個「國際事實查核網絡 IFCN」的認證核准機構。今時今日,香港非常需要堅定、獨立和客觀的事實查證組織。事實查核實驗室成立於2020年5月,並在同年6月開始發布第一篇驗證文章。早在2020年11月,實驗室已經申請 ICFN 的認證。直到2021年中,實驗室不斷就健康、環保、時事以及文化議題進行積極驗證,並清晰以港人的公眾利益為念。實驗室現時符合 IFCN 的原則約章。 

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Factcheck Lab is an independent project team set up by the Culture & Media Education Foundation, a non-partisan charity with tax exemption status in Hong Kong. This information is stated on the "About Us" page of Factcheck Lab's website: https://www.factchecklab.org/about-us/.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago)

All the necessary information is provided on the "About" page showing that Factcheck Lab is a distinct, independent project within a legally registered Hong Kong Charity. The page includes links to the parent organization and information about charity and tax exempt status.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago
  1. Factcheck Lab was started on May 2020, its first fact-check was published on June 2020. The objectives of Factcheck Lab are to counter the spread of mis / disinformation by conducting fact-checks on widely circulated information distributed online in order to safeguard the online public sphere.
  2. There are 12 members in the Factcheck Lab team, including 1 full-time executive editor (who conducts fact-checks and drafts the fact-check reports), 9 voluntary editorial team members (who reviews and edits the fact-check) 2 voluntary IT consultants. The project team is supported by a full-time administrative manager from the Culture & Media Education Foundation.
  3. The Fact-check Lab project team is set up for researching information flow online, identifying mis/disinformation, conducting fact-checks and publishing fact-check reports regularly.
  4. Publishing fact-check reports on a regular basis, organizing media literacy workshops and networking with similar initiatives in Hong Kong and beyond.
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

All of the required information is available on the website. Factcheck Lab was set up for the purpose of fact-checking, and for educating the Hong Kong public about the sources of information related to current events that people encounter through a range of online platforms and sources. 


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 month ago
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

FactCheck Lab originally applied late November 2020. Starting June 2020, published at least 4 fact checks per month through December 2020, sometimes more, with the exception of October when they published only 2. In 2021 they have averaged 3 per month. However given that the assessment is occurring 9 months after application, which is a lengthy wait period for assessment, which for many such fact-check startup organizations is a key step toward securing significant funding, it is to be expected that their staff would have difficulty maintaining the pace into mid-2021 as they waited for assessment to occur.                                                                                   


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab has published 47 fact checks from its launch in mid-2020 until July 2021. I can confirm that nearly all of the fact checks relate to news with significant implications for the lives and livelihoods of people in Hong Kong. Sources range from official social media pages of major news organizations, accounts of politicians and public figures well known in Hong Kong, and other social media accounts with large numbers of followers in Hong Kong. One third pertain to public health with most focused on COVID-19 related topics. Roughly half cover a mix of topics related to local politics, justice and enforcement of Hong Kong's new national security law, and international affairs including developments related to U.S. politics and elections and U.S.-China relations, as well as China's relations with other major countries, the outcomes of which have direct implications for the people of Hong Kong.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

Factcheck Lab is fully funded by the Culture & Media Education Foundation (CMEF), which is a charitable organization and is exempt from tax under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. The foundation has no affiliation with any government and political party. Since the foundation’s establishment in 2014, its major funding sources are Hong Kong and foreign NGOs.

CMEF has applied and received funding from the Wan Chai District Council for community involvement for school talks and community events for the foundation’s public outreach work. While the district council’s funding comes from the Hong Kong government’s Home Affair Office, the grant had never been used in the Factcheck Lab project whose funding is sourced from Hong Kong In-Media and Open Society Foundation.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

I can confirm that the applicant is not controlled by any state, political party, or politician. Factcheck Lab's parent organization is affiliated with independent non-profit media organizations such as InMedia HK, a non-profit citizen journalism platform that has existed in Hong Kong for over 15 years. 


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

As stated above, Factcheck Lab does not receive any funding or support from foreign as well as local state or political actors over the previous financial year.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has clarified that Hong Kong district council funding to its parent organization has not been used to fund FactCheck Lab, whose grants come from InMedia HK and Open Society Foundations which has strict requirements that grantees must not engage in political lobbying.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
  1. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200624/
  2. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200703/
  3. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200709/
  4. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200722/
  5. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200803/
  6. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200813/
  7. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200820/
  8. https://www.factchecklab.org/20201012/
  9. https://www.factchecklab.org/20201118/
  10. https://www.factchecklab.org/20201123/

The above 10 fact-checks include claims shared by people with various political orientations in Hong Kong, like those who are mainly against the Chinese Communist Party (1,6), who supports the Hong Kong government/police and against the protesters (3,5,8), and who are skeptical to the Hong Kong government (and CCP) (2,4,7). Also there are two claims about the U.S. presidential election (9,10), both of them are skeptical to the election results, Factcheck Lab found that one claim is partially true (with some caveats) and another is without evidence and misleading.

In all of these fact-checks, Factcheck Lab use the similar tools and methods to fact-check, for example, we checked whether the claims are (partly) based on outdated information and used Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to confirm it (2,5), we also looked at the details of data (4,8,9,10) and checked original videos relevant to some of the claims (1,3).

For every fact-check, we looked at the evidence provided in those claims first, and checked if those evidence were credible, correctly interpreted and supported those claims. We also checked relevant information, including judgements, research papers, data and government documents, to have a better understanding of the context of such claims. We compared all these evidence to reach our conclusions.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant fact-checks using the same rigorous standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim. Fact-checks cover claims from media organizations, social media pages of media personalities, and widely circulated social media postings from across the spectrum of views: some aligned with mainland China's CCP government, some from pro-democracy pro-protest sources, and some from organizations that have a long track record of being anti-CCP. Each fact-check is approached with the same rigor and detailed sourcing, including in many cases the detailed forensic analysis of video and photographs.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Scope and methodology are easily understandable and public-facing. It clearly explains the scope of sources that they draw from, how they select claims to check, how they consider the reach and importance of the claims they verify, what types of claims they focus on fact-checking, the data verification process, and how they ensure independence during the fact-checking and verification process itself. 


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

 Factcheck Lab explains the background of the sources which are used in their fact-checks, and discloses any interests they may have.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab's fact checks are very clinical in tone and consistent in style. They contain no editorializing or advocacy.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant publicly explains its non-partisanship policy on its website and makes clear that staff and contributors cannot work for any government entity or be member of a political party.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab offers very detailed sourcing and evidence to support its analysis in every posting that I have randomly selected to review.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab prioritizes primary sources and uses multiple secondary sources when primary sources are not available.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab has been very meticulous and detailed in its use of sources in all postings that I have reviewed at random.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab clearly describes the background and affiliations of its sources in the postings I randomly reviewed.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Factcheck Lab is a fact-checking team founded by the Culture & Media Education Foundation, a Charitable entity with tax exemption status in Hong Kong. The status requires the organization to devote non-political works such as education, research, and promotion of culture.

Factcheck Lab is an independent project within CMEF and the project is autonomously run by a 10-member editorial team which consists of independent journalists, scholars with journalism background and editors from the project’s partner media outlets including Stand News, inmediahk.net, Citizen News and Global Voices. All our partner news sites are non-partisan and have a professional newsroom in place.

This relationship between Factcheck Lab and CMEF is shown on CMEF's website as well as Factchekc Lab's website.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab provides ample evidence of its status as an independent unit of a Hong Kong non-profit charity which funds other independent media and educational projects. The relationship between the two is clearly shown on both the applicant's website and the host organization's website. 


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck lab has clear information about its ownership and funding on its "about us" page. 


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab has clearly mapped out organizational structure and editorial authorities.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Factcheck Lab
20-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The "About Us" page is updated and every editorial member has a professional biography on the website.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The list of personnel on the "about us" page includes a link to the executive editor's bio. For all others, their names are listed plus one primary affiliation (eg., professor at x university y department, editor at xyz news website, etc. - all of them organizations and positions relevant to being able to do this type of fact checking work). But no bios for people other than the executive editor are provided.


cancel 4.4 marked as Request change by Rebecca MacKinnon.
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
28-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The list of personnel on the "about us" page includes links to the bios of all staff and contributors. 


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

There is a page with clear information about multiple ways to contact Factcheck Lab.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Information about the methodology is clear and detailed on the methodology page. 


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

In the fact-checks I reviewed it is made clear why it is in the public interest to fact-check each claim. 


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

When relevant evidence to support the claim (or closely related claims) exists, they include it.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

In the fact-checks I reviewed at random, the same rigor is applied to the analysis regardless of where the maker of the claim stands on the political spectrum in Hong Kong or elsewhere (Taiwan, mainland China, U.S., UK, etc).


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Hong Kong's political situation and the public interest relevance of claims made in Chinese using (or distorting or deliberately mis-translating or mis-construing) English sources can make contacting the makers of claims especially challenging.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

On the top of website there is a link to the "Contact Us" page, which explicitly tells user can send in claims to check, and we will only fact-check factual claims. The link of the "Contact Us" page is: https://www.factchecklab.org/contact-us/.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The contact page includes the necessary information.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Factcheck Lab
20-Jul-2021 (4 months ago)
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The corrections policy is at the very bottom of the methodology page, so readers may not find it unless they know where to look and scroll all the way to the bottom. It needs to be more visible, ideally with its own URL so that it can be linked and referred to directly, especially from the contact page. 


cancel 6.1 marked as Request change by Rebecca MacKinnon.
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
28-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The corrections policy can easily be found from a link at the top of the website, in addition to the "contact us" page and at the bottom of the "methodology" page.  


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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

Factcheck Lab
20-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Now there is an independent page for the correction policy, and it is shown on the top of the website and can be seen on every page (including all fact-checking reports).

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Suggested change: link to the contact page in the corrections policy, and link directly to the corrections policy from the contact page. The corrections policy listed on the methodology page does state a commitment to accept appeals openly and transparently. However the corrections policy section of the methodology page does not link explicitly to the contact page, and the contact page does not link directly to the corrections policy (which is currently a section at the bottom of the methodology page without its own URL). The contact page does contain helpful information about the scope of the organization's fact checking, and what does not justify response or fact checking, although that information is not included in the corrections policy itself. While the contact page does link back to the methodology page, the corrections policy is at the bottom of that page, with no way to link to it directly, so it might be hard for readers to find the specific information about corrections and error reporting. 


cancel 6.2 marked as Request change by Rebecca MacKinnon.
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
28-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The corrections policy is clear about what it does and does not cover and how complaints are handled, and that process is reflected in the corrections I have seen in a number of the fact check posts. 


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In the following two fact-checks, some mistakes pointed out by our readers are corrected, and the history of corrections are shown at the bottom of the articles:

  1. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200630/
  2. https://www.factchecklab.org/20200716/
Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Fact checks that have been updated or corrected include a list of updates and corrections at the bottom of the post. Factcheck Lab might want to consider adding some sort of tag or notice at the top of posts that have been updated or corrected, or otherwise find a way to highlight the fact that there is new information contained in a post that is not the newest on the website.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Factcheck Lab is not an existing signatory. We will add this page once our application is accepted.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Factcheck Lab is not an existing signatory. 


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.

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 Lab
26-Nov-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Factcheck Lab is not the fact-checking unit of a media company.

Rebecca MacKinnon Assessor
13-Jul-2021 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The host organization is not a media company so therefore this particular sub-criteria does not apply.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Rebecca MacKinnon.