FactSpace West Africa - GhanaFact

Organization: FactSpace West Africa
Applicant: Rabiu Alhassan
Assessor: Ebele Oputa

Background

According to information provided on its website, Ghana Fact is a project set up by a legally registered organization called FactSpace. The organization is a non-profit social enterprise that seeks to close the palpable market gap for an independent, non-partisan fact-checking program in Ghana, West Africa. 

Assessment Conclusion

Compliant

on 05-Aug-2021 (9 months ago)

Ebele Oputa assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

GhanaFact, a project of FactSpace West Africa, seems to be guided by the IFCN Code of Principles. It is dedicated to factchecking and any other activities that increase access to credible information. On its website, GhanaFact clearly states the reasons for its existence, the members of its team who are responsible for editorial decisions, its factchecking and verification process, and the source of funding. Fact checks are also published following a strict methodology that is cognizance of primary and secondary sources of information, and accurate conclusions based on factual premises.

As we strive for excellence, I will recommend the following to further improve the activities of this organization:

(4.2) Each source of funding, kind of funding (and amount if possible) should be more clearly spelt out. For instance, on its Funding page, GhanaFact displays the logos of some organizations who are not mentioned in the funding statement. As such, we are unclear if these are just partners or additional funders.

(4.4) While GhanaFact explains the process for contacting the editorial team (through its official contact options) and includes the social media handles of its editorial team on the "GhanaFact Team" page, it would be easier if those handles are hyperlinked to make it easier for the audience to find and reach out to the team.

(5.3) After review of a large number of factchecks on its website, it is quite clear that GhanaFact engages in thorough research and editorial process before the publication of articles. Nevertheless, in most cases, differing views are not stated in the articles, only evidence that supports the conclusion. It is always important to provide evidence for both sides of the argument and explain why one's reasoning/argument should lead to the conclusion.

(5.5) There should be a statement on the website or in factchecks that show that the researcher made an effort to contact those who made the claim to seek supporting evidence, noting the reasons this may not be or advisable possible for reasons set out in the caveats.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago)

The "About Us" page on our website clearly states that FactSpace West Africa is a legally registered non-profit organisation set up for the purpose of fact-checking and news verification in August 2019. Copies of our registration documents with Ghana's Registrar General's department have been attached for verification.

https://ghanafact.com/about/

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf CERTIFICATE OF INCOR... (1 MB) picture_as_pdf CERTIFICATE TO COMME... (1 MB)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

According to information provided on its website, Ghana Fact is a project set up by a legally registered organization called FactSpace. The organization is a non-profit social enterprise that seeks to close the palpable market gap for an independent, non-partisan fact-checking program in Ghana, West Africa. 

The certificates of incorporation are also attached to this application for reference.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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?

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Ghana has seen rapid growth in internet access which has also come with the proliferation of news content creators including blogging websites, satirical news, citizen journalists and “rented propagandists” of politicians. However, these actors largely tend to be the initiators of misinformation/disinformation in Ghana. In a 2019 GhanaFact survey of 400 Ghanaians aimed at understanding the ecosystem of distrust and misinformation in Ghana, 69% of respondents indicated that they had encountered misinformation in the last one year.

Ghana is held up as a shining example of a successful democracy in Africa. However, there is also growing disillusionment among the populace about the country’s pace of development and worryingly, our mode of governance. Political disappointments coupled with the control of the media narrative and framing by politicians are fueling citizens disenchantment. The weaponization of disinformation online has come to polarize the country further.

The twin trouble of growing disinformation online and the waning trust in the media in Ghana informed our decision to launch a fact-checking and news verification project in August 2019, with our first reports published the following month. Our mission is to help safeguard Ghana’s democracy by minimizing the spread of disinformation/misinformation on social networking and messaging platforms and promoting accuracy in public discourse.

The fact-checking project has a team of 12. This includes two non-executive directors and 10 writers/ researchers. 

FactSpace West Africa is principally focused on fact-checking and news verification on social and traditional media. We have helped train more than 300 tertiary students from the University of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Journalism and the Institute of Business Management and Journalism. We have also created a fact-checking network made up of more than 100 journalists drawn from more than 30 media organisations across Ghana to help curb the spread of misinformation online as well as offline. We aim to develop web applications and maximise technologies in helping our fact-checking work.

Our Vision is to be West Africa’s independent, non-partisan digital fact-checking organization. We aim to ensure ready access to credible information, increase public knowledge across West Africa, train the sub-regions youthful population and grow a budding community of fact-checkers.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

The applicant provides comprehensive political and social context about its raison d'etre and the date it was established. The number of people working for the organization including a national network of volunteers are identified. According to the applicant, Ghana Fact achieves its mandates through the following activities:

- A media outlet for the publication of fact checks

- Capacity building initiatives such as training of more than 300 tertiary students

- Establishment of a fact-checking network made up of more than 100 journalists drawn from more than 30 media organisations across Ghana

- Technology research

Its vision is to be West Africa’s independent, non-partisan digital fact-checking organization.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

All our fact-checks centre around four key public interest areas plus issues related to synthetic media. The sectors include governance, economy, politics and health. These areas do relate to or could have an impact on the welfare and well-being of individuals, the general public or society.

The public interest areas we focus on are informed by the feedback from the 2019 GhanaFact Survey of 400 Ghanaians seeking to understand the ecosystem of distrust and misinformation in Ghana.         

Files Attached
description IFCN SIGNATORY APPLI... (13 KB)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

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 this application, Ghana Fact provided 29 work samples which is more than sufficient to cover the six months criteria


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

According to Ghana Fact, "all our fact-checks centre around four key public interest areas plus issues related to synthetic media. The sectors include governance, economy, politics and health. These areas do relate to or could have an impact on the welfare and well-being of individuals, the general public or society.

"The public interest areas we focus on are informed by the feedback from the 2019 GhanaFact Survey of 400 Ghanaians seeking to understand the ecosystem of distrust and misinformation in Ghana."

Upon independent assessment, it is clear that more than 75% of fact checks published by Ghana Fact over the six months prior to the date of application focused on claims related to “public interest” issues.       


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

Our fact-checking project has NO funding relationship whatsoever with either a local/foreign state, politicians, political parties or political sources. 

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Based on this application, information on Ghana Fact's website and our knowledge of this organization, we strongly believe that this project has no funding relationship whatsoever with either politicians, political parties or political sources. The organization also goes a step further to ensure that no funding resource stream exceeds 35% of its budget in order to maintain editorial independence from funders.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago)

NA

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

The organization does not receive funding from local or foreign state or political sources.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The GhanaFact team selects claims to fact-check based on reach, how relevant the claim is to the public and the potential impact the claim might have on the public if it goes unchecked. The four broad public interest areas we focus on also guide us in the selection of these claims. We are only committed to the facts and listen to all relevant stakeholders in executing our fact-check reports while applying the same methodology to ensure fairness.

The process we use as clearly stated on the "How we work" page on the GhanaFact website as follows:

Acquisition: GhanaFact team first independently identifies or is alerted to information that needs to be fact-checked/verified by subscribers


Determination of source of news: GhanaFact team then examines the information/statement and trace the source of the information to establish a veracity


Sources of further information: GhanaFact team brainstorms and outlines possible sources to engage and seek for clarification or further information


Further research: GhanaFact team sanctions further research on the subject to ensure a comprehensive report


Report: A fact-checked report is produced/edited using ethical journalistic standards and adhering to the principles of IFCN


Publication: GhanaFact team would publish the conclusions of the Fact-checked report and rate the accuracy of the information /statement.


EXAMPLES OF FACT CHECKS THAT DEMONSTRATE OUR NON-PARTISANSHIP

1. We fact-checked a viral doctored video of the chairperson of Ghana’s electoral commission declaring the country’s hotly contested elections in favour of the opposition candidate.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/12/false-viral-video-shows-ec-declaring-john-mahama-as-president-elect-of-ghana/

2. We flagged as FAKE a viral screenshot of a Facebook post by BBC News Africa alleging that Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo had lost the 2020 presidential election.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/12/fake-viral-screenshot-of-bbc-facebook-post-on-ghanaian-election/

3. We fact-checked a claim made by Ghana's former President during an interview with the BBC ahead of Ghana’s 2020 polls.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/12/fact-check-mahamas-claim-on-ghanas-debt-to-gdp-ratio-in-a-bbc-interview/

4. We flagged a viral video of a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), which showed he had been arrested with ballot boxes during the 2020 elections.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/12/misleading-wontumi-arrested-with-ballot-boxes/

5. We fact-checked a deputy minister for Education after he made some claims in a televised debate on Ghana’s education sector.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/12/fact-check-education-sector-debate-on-gross-enrolment-ratio-for-girls/

6. We fact-checked the National Communication Officer of the opposition NDC, Sammy Gyamfi after he made some claims during a live TV show.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/11/fact-checking-sammy-gyamfis-claims-on-moment-of-truth-tv-programme/

7. We fact-checked a speech read by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/08/fact-check-akufo-addos-speech-at-npp-manifesto-launch/

8. We fact-checked a claim made by Ghana’s opposition leader, John Mahama.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/08/fact-check-john-mahama-on-the-campaign-trail/

9. We fact-checked a claim made by a leading member of the governing, New Patriotic Party.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/07/fact-check-gabby-otchere-darko-falsely-claims-2016-growth-rate-is-the-lowest-in-the-fourth-republic/

10. We fact-checked multiple claims made by Ghana’s Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

https://ghanafact.com/2020/07/fact-check-dr-bawumias-claims-about-why-akufo-addo-is-better-than-mahama/

Our political fact-checks concentrated on the two leading political parties in Ghana, opposition NDC and governing NPP. Due to the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, there was the need for invest lots of resources in taking election misinformation to help prevent chaos following from the weaponization of misinformation. However, it should be noted that we also fact-checked information around governance due to greater reach and its impact on citizens.



Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

10 fact checks were selected at random and compared to those submitted by the applicant. Our assessment shows that fact checks are not restricted to one political party or affiliation. For instance, in the same month (December 2020), the fact check team published 2 different claims about the governing party and opposition party. Both fact checks were treated to the same standards and their conclusions were supported by evidence.

Also, the fact that GhanaFact conducts fact checking in four broad public interest areas - politics, health, economy and environment - enriches its portfolio and adds diversity to the fact check catalog.                                                                                                            


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

A statement on GhanaFact's website reads thus:

"We select claims to fact-check based on reach, how relevant the claim is to the public and the potential impact the claim might have on the public if it goes unchecked."

Our assessment shows that GhanaFact has a strict process for the selection of claims. The diversity of fact checks signify a non-concentration of fact-checking on one side. And most fact checks include a statement or visual proof (screenshot) of the number of shares and comments attributed to a claim.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Most of the fact-checks published on GhanaFact were obtained from social media by ordinary citizens whose online statements reached a wide audience, or from media outlets that published questionable claims. GhanaFact makes sure to include the source of the claims in its publication and does not demonstrate undue influence. 


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Upon review of the applicant's website and social media, we conclude that the applicant does not seem to be affiliated with nor declare or show 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.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

GhanaFact explains its policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims on the “Our principles” page:

https://ghanafact.com/principles/

FactSpace West Africa, ensured all the GhanaFact team of volunteers had no current or past direct involvement in political or advocacy organisations. Future employees will also not be hired if they have in the past or at present hold an active role in any political party.

Non-partisanship is crucial in our work, which means this is frequently discussed at meetings and team members are always reminded to be wary of their personal communication on social media in view of our standards. We do not support any political party.

The "principles" page has been duly updated to reflect the recommendation- https://ghanafact.com/principles/.

Here is what has been added to the page:

Members of the GhanaFact team have no current or past direct involvement in political or advocacy organizations. FactSpace West Africa will also ensure that future employees will not be hired if they have – in the past or at present – had an active role in any political party.

Non-partisanship is crucial in our work and it is frequently discussed at meetings. Team members are regularly reminded to be wary of their personal communication on social media. We do not support any political party.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Obtained from its website, GhanaFact writes that:

"Members of the GhanaFact team have no current or past direct involvement in political or advocacy organizations. FactSpace West Africa will also ensure that future employees will not be hired if they have – in the past or at present – had an active role in any political party."

In this application, GhanaFact states that "Non-partisanship is crucial in our work, which means this is frequently discussed at meetings and team members are always reminded to be wary of their personal communication on social media in view of our standards."

There is also no evidence of its key staff being involved in advocacy or stating policy positions on 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.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

GhanaFact identifies the source of claims and evidence in their fact checks and provides a hyperlink for further research by users. In cases where a hyperlink does not seem possible, GhanaFact provides visual evidence of the sources.

Based on the fact checks reviewed, there is no indication of non-disclosure of sources. 


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Most of the fact checks published by GhanaFact are based on primary sources of information. Explanations are given on the reason behind the use of such information, both primary and secondary, as well as the source's limitations. In most cases, the source of information is also defined, for example, this factcheck where the World Economic Forum is defined and a link is provided for further research.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

GhanaFact makes use of multiple sources in most of its fact checks and 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.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

GhanaFact regularly relies on primary and secondary sources of information and does not make unfair conclusions or inaccurate deductions from evidence. The organization also identifies the interests of sources if they would be required to understand the source’s credibility.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

FactSpace West Africa is an independent non-partisan organisation executing the GhanaFact fact-checking project. This is stated on the "About Us" page on our website.

https://ghanafact.com/about/

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

On its "About Us" page, Ghana Fact clearly states that it is Ghana’s independent digital fact-checking project set up by FactSpace West Africa, a legally registered non-profit organisation, to curb the spread of disinformation on both traditional and social media.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

These two pages detail our funding as an independent non-profit organisation:

https://ghanafact.com/funding/

https://ghanafact.com/about/

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"We launched in 2019 as a team of volunteers with no funders. The organisation has since evolved after funding support from the Shuttleworth Foundation. Our objective in the medium to long term is to ensure no funding resource stream exceeds 35% of the budget. This is to guarantee funders have absolutely no control over our editorial policy.

Our fact-checking project has NO funding relationship whatsoever with either politicians, political parties or political sources."


GhanaFact also includes the logos of other organizations (asides Shuttleworth Foundation) which we believe are other funders. While this might be sufficient for this application, it is advisable that GhanaFact update its information to include these other funders and if possible, the amount donated.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

https://ghanafact.com/team/

On the "How we work" page- https://ghanafact.com/how-we-work/, we detail the editorial control for our work. 

GhanaFact seeks to promote accuracy in engagements on social media and in public discourse by correcting the spread of false or misleading claims or statements.

The Managing editor has control over the day-to-day editorial decisions of GhanaFact. No other body or sources has any influence over our editorial policy & independence.

We select claims to fact-check based on reach, how relevant the claim is to the public and the potential impact the claim might have on the public if it goes unchecked. GhanaFact is only committed to the facts and listen to all relevant stakeholders in executing our fact-check reports.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

GhanaFact is headed by a Managing Editor who has control over the day-to-day editorial decisions of GhanaFact. No other body or source has any influence over our editorial policy & independence.

The organization also has a two-member (all female) board of non-executive directors and a team of writers and researchers.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

On its "Team" page, GhanaFact provides information about the people who play a significant part in their editorial output, including their social media handles. This could encourage communication with the team (although it will be best if those handles are hyperlinked to make it easier for users to contact them). 


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

GhanaFact has a "Contact Us" page where we encourage users to communicate with the editorial team.

https://ghanafact.com/contact-us/

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Users are encouraged to contact GhanaFact team via phone call, email, mail or social media. 

https://ghanafact.com/contact-us/ 


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

According to information on its website, GhanaFact utilises a methodology that is predicated on the IFCN Code of Principles. 

"We select claims to fact-check based on reach, how relevant the claim is to the public and the potential impact the claim might have on the public if it goes unchecked. GhanaFact is only committed to the facts and listen to all relevant stakeholders in executing our fact-check reports."

GhanaFact operates a Waterfall approach that starts with the independent identification or public alert to information that needs to be verified by subscribers and culminates in the publication of fact-checked reoprts that rate the accuracy of the information/statement.

https://ghanafact.com/how-we-work/


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

In theory and practice, GhanaFact 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.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

GhanaFact publishes well-detailed fact checks that show thorough research and compliance to the principles of transparency, nonpartisanship and fairness. The fact-checks begin with a summary conclusion at the beginning (which might have been based on various research on human attention span and reception of information) and continue with a full description of the claim, the evidence, and then a conclusion.

In most cases, the evidence (as you would expect) is in support of the conclusion. Nevertheless, GhanaFact does try to provide contrary evidence to show errors in judgment and lend credence to its earlier assertions.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

From all indications, GhanaFact assesses the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim.



done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Depending on the circumstances, GhanaFact makes sure to provide the source of the claim for a statement or explanation and includes that in its fact check. For most online claims, GhanaFact publishes relevant information about the person who made the claim, including a screenshot or link to a video recording of the claim. However, there is no information on the website to show that the person who made the claim was contacted.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

https://ghanafact.com/submit-a-claim-to-check/

We provide the following information to the public on our website to guide the submission of claims:

Claims that are researched by GhanaFact are done only with publicly available sources.

We concentrate our fact-checks on public interest areas including politics, governance, economy, elections and health.

When we see an inaccurate, misleading or unsubstantiated claim, we push for corrections and withdrawals.

For our team to research a claim, the claim must be:

A statement made in public, which can be attributed to a specific person (e.g. a public official or a social media user) or organization (e.g. a report)

An assertion or allegation that can be validated or refuted

Based on past or present actions (i.e. not speculative about the future or an opinion)

A widely shared claim that might have an impact on the public if it goes unchecked

You can send a claim via the “Contact Us” page on our website or reach us on social media-Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But note that our focus is to fact-check claims and not individuals.


Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

GhanaFact's process shows that claims are selected based on internal team recommendations or user requests. 

You can send a claim via the “Contact Us” page on our website or reach us on social media-Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But note that our focus is to fact-check claims and not individuals."


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

GhanaFact has a dedicated page for its corrections policy. It reads:

"We are committed to getting it right than first. However, if you see a mistake or omission in any of our reports, please let us know. Our team will be ready to correct them as quickly and transparently as we can. You can send corrections or complaints to info@ghanafact.com. You can also send feedback via the Contact Us section on our website. All correspondence will be reviewed and appropriately answered within the shortest possible time. To ensure we fully grasp what your concerns are, comments and complaints should be as clear as possible. Where possible, please include any links to reference material or data that is publicly accessible. We cannot promise to check every claim suggested but we do promise to read all suggestions."


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago
GhanaFact's correction policy clearly defines what it covers - mistakes, ommissions in reports, and/or complaints. It also states that "all correspondence will be reviewed and appropriately answered within the shortest possible time." Users are encouraged to make their complaints very clear and to understand that it will not be possible to check every suggested claim.

done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

We have not received any correction requests in the last year. 

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

According to GhanaFact, they have not received any correction requests in the past year.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"GhanaFact is a project by FactSpace West Africa, a legally registered non-profit organisation set up for fact-checking and news verification in August 2019. We subscribe to the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles and if you believe that we are in breach of these principles you can lodge a complaint."

https://ghanafact.com/about/


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

FactSpace West Africa
20-May-2021 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

NA

Ebele Oputa Assessor
04-Aug-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

The corrections policy of GhanaFact (already stated above) suffices.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.