FactChecker.in

Organization: FactChecker.in
Applicant: Krishna Karthik Madhavapeddi
Assessor: Surekha Deepak
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

1. FactChecker.in focuses on data-based fact-checking of statements of people in public life, as against debunking other fake news being circulated on social media. An overwhelming proportion of such claims are made by the government or government departments.

2. We have updated our income and expenditure details, as required: https://factchecker.in/about-us/trustees-patrons/


Conclusion and recommendations
on 10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago)

Surekha Deepak wrote:

The organisation has complied with most of the principles.

It is a fact checking organisation and meets the requirements of publishing atleast one one fact-check a week.

The claims verified are based on the areas they have listed out in the about us page ‘: health, sanitation, law and justice, education, environment, employment, innovation, science, environment and disadvantaged groups.

While a majority of the stories verify government claims there are a couple of stories that verify the opposition claims too, as well as one who is a ‘spiritual leader’

I have read the complaint and did not find the bias to make a claim that the purpose of the fact check is to benefit one party or the other. More importantly the fact checking is accurate.

FactChecker has provided links to data they have collected as an example for stories they are compiling data where no official database exists. These stories are not actual fact checks nor can they be verified. They have disclosed the data based stories they cover on the website.

It states a clear policy on against advocacy for all its employees.

Nearly all key sources are linked, so is the evidence it provides.

Stories are backed with reportage from the location. Links to some data based stories are not available to be replicated, however the methodology is explained.

Details of funding are explained. The major sources of funds from donors are trustees are explained. However no details of expenditure is provided.

The team members and their profiles are clearly listed.

Contact details are listed on the website, so it it easy to contact them.

Its methodology is explained and readers can send claims to be checked. However, it is not clear if all claims they receive can be verified.

The corrections made are on a not available on all platforms, as required to be fully compliant.  

on 10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago)

Surekha Deepak recommended Accept with edits


Section 1: Organization

Criterion 1a
Proof of registration
Evidence required: Please provide evidence that the signatory is a legally-registered organization set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking or the distinct fact-checking project of a recognized media house or research institution.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)

FactChecker.in is an initiative of The Spending & Policy Research Foundation which also runs www.indiaspend.org, India’s first data journalism initiative. We are located in Lower Parel in Mumbai and are registered as a Charitable Trust with the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai. (Details here: http://factchecker.in/about-us/)

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf 12AA IT Exemption Ce... (606 KB) picture_as_pdf Certificate Under Se... (478 KB) picture_as_pdf SPR Foundation Trust... (6 MB) picture_as_pdf Trust Regn Cert.pdf (219 KB)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago)

FactChecker is a registered organization set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking. They are the fact-checking section of another organisation, a trust. The trust also runs a data journalism website.


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 1b
Archive
Evidence required: Insert a link to the archive of fact checks published in the previous three months. If you do not collect all fact checks in one place, please explain how the fact-checking is conducted by your organization.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

They published eighteen stories from August to Nov.

That amounts to an average of over one story a week. The stories are evaluated based on their accuracy. 


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 2: Nonpartisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2a
Body of work sample
Evidence required: Please share links to ten fact checks that better represent the scope and consistency of your fact-checking. Provide a short explanation of how your organization strives to maintain coherent standards across fact checks.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactChecker.in is India’s first dedicated fact-checking initiative. Since early 2013, we have been scrutinising and researching for veracity and context, statements made by individuals in public life, as well as picking up on issues where we feel there is a strong need to examine data that is in public domain.

In addition, we also collect or maintain data where none are available. Some examples of such efforts are:

Our database of cow-related violence: https://lynch.factchecker.in/

Our database of violence related to rumours of child-lifting: https://lynch.factchecker.in/child/

Our database of religion-motivated hate crime: https://p.factchecker.in/

In each of our fact checks, we ensure that the statement/claim being checked is reproduced from the original, and the data used to back/call out a claim, or put it in context are linked to official sources.

Appended is a list of ten of our recent fact checks.

1. A Village’s Journey To Electrification, And Why ‘100%’ Claim Rings Hollow: https://factchecker.in/a-villages-journey-to-electrification-and-why-100-claim-rings-hollow/

2. Why Leisang, India’s ‘Last Village To Be Electrified’, Has Relapsed Into Darkness: https://factchecker.in/why-leisang-indias-last-village-to-be-electrified-has-relapsed-into-darkness/

3. Despite PM’s 100% Electrification Claim, 15 Million Households–Equivalent To All Households In South Korea–Without Power: https://factchecker.in/despite-pms-100-electrification-claim-15-million-households-equivalent-to-all-households-in-south-korea-without-power/

4. Madhya Pradesh Has More Than 1 Cr Unemployed Youth: Scindia. Claim Is Unclear: https://factchecker.in/madhya-pradesh-has-more-than-1-cr-unemployed-youth-scindia-claim-is-unclear/

5. Madhya Pradesh ‘Number 1 In Rape, Number 1 In Farmer Suicide, Number 1 In Unemployment’: Kamal Nath. He’s Mostly Wrong: https://factchecker.in/madhya-pradesh-number-1-in-rape-number-1-in-farmer-suicide-number-1-in-unemployment-kamal-nath-hes-mostly-wrong/

6. 35 Airports Built Over Last 4 Years: Modi. Fact: 7 Made ‘Operational’: https://factchecker.in/35-airports-built-over-last-4-years-modi-fact-7-made-operational/

7. Sadhguru: No Bombings In Modi Era. Fact: 400 Plus In 2016 Alone, Official Data Show: https://factchecker.in/sadhguru-no-bombings-in-modi-era-fact-400-plus-in-2016-alone-official-data-show/

8. Rahul Gandhi: Congress Not Involved In 1984 Sikh Riots. Fact: Inquiries Indicted Congressmen, Absolved Party: https://factchecker.in/rahul-gandhi-congress-not-involved-in-1984-sikh-riots-fact-inquiries-indicted-congressmen-absolved-party/

9. #KeralaFloods: Govt Cites Policy In Refusing Rs 700-Crore Aid From UAE, But Policy Allows Aid: https://factchecker.in/keralafloods-govt-cites-policy-in-refusing-rs-700-crore-aid-from-uae-but-policy-allows-aid/

10. Minister To Parliament: No Data On Lynching. Here They Are (Including Government’s Own): https://factchecker.in/minister-to-parliament-no-data-on-lynching-here-they-are-including-governments-own/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

While a majority of the stories verify government claims there are a couple of stories that verify the opposition claims too, as well as one who is a ‘spiritual leader’

I have read the complaint and did not find the bias to make a claim that the purpose of the fact check is to benefit one party or the other. More importantly the fact checking is accurate.

FactChecker has provided links to data they have collected as an example for stories they are compiling data where no official database exists. These stories are not actual fact checks nor can they be verified. They have disclosed the data based stories they cover on the website. 


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 2b
Nonpartisanship policy
Evidence required: Please share evidence of your policy preventing staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations. Please also indicate the policy your organization has as a whole regarding advocacy and supporting political candidates.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)

All our employment contracts have the following clause: “During the appointment with the Company you shall not take up directly or indirectly any other employment in any company, firm, associates or undertaking or any other work (part time or otherwise) or work on advisory capacity without written permission from the company.”

Our editorial team vets the credentials of any outside contributors before assigning or accepting their work.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

It has explained its policy position and says that the employment contracts have a clause barring employees from taking up any other employment or working in an advisory capacity


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 3: Transparency of Sources

Criterion 3a
Sources Policy
Please share a brief and public explanation (500 words max) of how sources are provided in enough detail that readers could replicate the fact check. If you have a public policy on how you find and use sources for your fact-checking, it should be shared here.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)

All our fact checks are based on public data released by various government departments or credible non-governmental surveys and studies. Links to the original sources are generously used, for each figure and each source, so as to enable interested readers to replicate the fact check.

Our data visualisations detailing the fact checks are also accompanied by links to the original source of data.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Nearly all key sources are linked, so is the evidence it provides.

Stories are backed with reportage from the location. Links to some data based stories are not available to be replicated. However, the methodology has been explained. 


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 4: Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 4a
Funding Sources
Evidence required: Please link to the section where you publicly list your sources of funding (including, if they exist, any rules around which types of funding you do or don't accept), or a statement on ownership if you are the branch of an established media organization or research institution.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)

The details of how we are funded are public, updated periodically and can be accessed here: https://factchecker.in/about-us/trustees-patrons/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

While each source of funding has not been listed, the website does indicate the form in which the organisation is registered. It also makes a statement on ownership.

However, details of expenditure is not available.


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 4b
Staff
Evidence required: Please link to the section detailing all authors and key actors behind your fact-checking project with their biographies. You can also list the name and bios of the members of the editorial board, pool of experts, advisory board, etc. if your organization has those.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)

The ‘Our Team’ page (https://factchecker.in/about-us/our-team/) on the website has detailed bios of all our regular authors. The bios of our contributors are mentioned below their stories.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

All key authors are listed and profiled. 


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 4c
Contact
Evidence required: Please link to the section where readers can get in touch with the organization.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

They have a clearly indicated contact page and invite comments and corrections.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 5: Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5a
Detailed Methodology
Evidence required: Please link to a section or article detailing the steps you follow for your fact-checking work.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As a data journalism and policy research organisation, The Spending & Policy Research Foundation deals with issues, which should be—but usually are not—in the public domain, including: health, sanitation, law and justice, education, environment, employment, innovation, science, environment and disadvantaged groups.

As a fact checking initiative, we at Factchecker.in pick claims/statements made by public figures or government reports and check for veracity and context. We refer to official data in the public domain to verify claims.

In some cases, claims are found to be true, but misleading as the context and historical perspective is missing. In such cases, we provide context to the claim in question.

Often, public documents contain outdated figures, and a claim may pertain to a later period. For such claims made on official data, we contact the relevant public authority--such as the department head or ministry--for clarification.

The methodology is also explained in the 'About Us' page on our website: https://factchecker.in/about-us/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The methodology is clearly explained. They have also clearly identified areas they will focus on.


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 5b
Claim submissions
Evidence required: Please link to the page or process through which readers can submit claims to fact-check. If you do not allow this, please briefly explain why.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)

Our 'Contact Us' page invites readers to send in suggestions, and share knowledge, insights, ideas, etc. We are also accessible through our social media handles (https://twitter.com/FactCheckIndia & https://facebook.com/IndiaSpend), and engage with readers.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Readers are invited to send claims to fact check by email. But does not explain what is not possible to fact check.


done 5b marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 6: Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 6a
Corrections policy
Evidence required: Please link to the page with your policy to address corrections. If it is not public, please share your organization's handbook.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)

The ‘Contact Us’ page on our website explains our corrections policy, and calls on readers to point out any errors to us through email: http://factchecker.in/contact-us/

We acknowledge all errors and clarifications, and publish them prominently on the website and our social media handles.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Corrections policy is clearly mentioned, though not in a separate page, but as part of the Contact Us page. The corrections are not reflected across all platforms. 


done 6a marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 6b
Examples of corrections
Evidence required: Please provide two examples of a correction made, or correction requests handled, in the past year.

FactChecker.in
06-Nov-2018 (1 year ago)

1. In August 2018, during a live factcheck of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on the 72nd Independence Day, we erroneously said 3.5 million new entrepreneurs had taken loans of the 123 million sanctioned between 2015-16 and 2017-18: https://twitter.com/FactCheckIndia/status/1029571052102279168

The correct datum is that loans were taken by 35 million new entrepreneurs. We issued a correction on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FactCheckIndia/status/1029752044658352128

2. In May 2018, in response to our factcheck on the funds spent under the central government’s Smart Cities project, the ministry of housing and urban affairs put out a series of tweets contesting data cited in the story.

We replied to the ministry on Twitter and updated the story with the interaction: https://factchecker.in/smart-cities-rs-2-lakh-cr-budget-0-09-of-central-funds-spent/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
10-Dec-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The corrections are not reflected across all platforms used to distribute the stories. 


done 6b marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.