Organization: Ferret Fact Service
Applicant: Alastair Brian
Assessor: Raymond Joseph
Edits made by the organization after this assessment
IFCN Staff wrote:
Ferret Fact Service added a clarification on its nonpartisanship and political advocacy policy in its About Us section. https://theferret.scot/about-us/
The website is also adding a call to submit claims to fact-check at the bottom of each article and building a form for readers to use.
Conclusion and recommendations
Raymond Joseph wrote:
Ferret Fact Service (FFS) offers a combination of fact-checks and investigative reporting. Several of their investigations have won awards and some have been followed up by the mainstream media. FFS has an interesting hybrid model that generates funding from a variety of sources, ensuring that they are not dependent on any single source or donor. This includes conventional funders, member subscriptions and events. A subscription allows FFS members unlimited access to the site and also value added services like special member events and training. It is interesting that they also often fact-check posts to social media platforms, which is essential as that is where much mis- and disinformation is being spread. Although FFS was only launched this year they have made excellent progress and make an important contribution to truth and fact-checking in Scotland.
I have no hesitation in recommending that their application be accepted, but with a few minor recommendations.
2b) At present the policy regarding advocacy/political positions from the organization and its staff is not clearly and unequivocally spelt out in one place. I would highly recommend that this be added in the “About” so that this information is easy to find by anyone who seeks details.
5b) It is not easily clear how to submit something for fact-checking. I suggest that a “Submit a Fact-Check” link be added in an easy to find place. This might be done by adding a link to the drop down menu of the site’s content. Alternatively, a “Submit a fact-check” link could be included on the Fact-Check page, where fact-checked content is published. This should link to a page or section that gives details of the various options (email, FB, Twitter or Community Forum), to make a submission.