Källkritikbyrån

Organization: Källkritikbyrån
Applicant: Åsa Larsson
Assessor: Ester Appelgren

Background

Källkritikbyrån is a new Swedish fact checking initiative. The founders are all experienced fact checkers, and their expertise is clearly visible in the application and on the website of the intitiative. Because of the track record of the founders, this is a trustworthy initiative, even though it has not existed for long. 

Assessment Conclusion

In the first review, I found a few minor shortcomings. However, I think they can be explained by the short existence of the initiative. For example the fundings are not clearly stated and there was not a policy describing non-partianship for the staff on the website. After the request for changes, there is a now an excellent explanation and my recommendation to the board of the IFCN is that the applicant is compliant.

on 07-May-2020 (4 months ago)

Ester Appelgren assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Källkritikbyrån är ett förhållandevis nytt svensk faktagranskningsinitiativ. Grundarna bakom initiativet är väl kända inom den svenska mediebranschen och också i ganska stor mån för allmänheten. De är mycket trovärdiga inom detta viktiga område. Det syns tydligt vilka personerna bakom initiativet är, såväl i ansökan som på sajten. Utöver att de följer IFCNs kriterier anser jag också att detta initiativ, tack vare grundarnas goda rykte är mycket trovärdigt. Detta trots att det inte har funnits speciellt länge och ännu inte kan redovisa några intäkter.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We are a legally registered company with the number 559227-6371 at the Swedish Bolagsverket (Swedish Companies Registration Office). This, as well as the fact that we are a factchecking organization, is apparant on our website here: https://kallkritikbyran.se/om-oss/

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The organization is a registered company. It is a stand-alone independent organization.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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?

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

1. The organization Källkritikbyrån started Oct 2019, but it is a continuation of the now cancelled Viralgranskaren. The three founders of Viralgranskaren have founded Källkritikbyrån and that has been covered in Swedish media:

https://sverigestidskrifter.se/publicerar/jag-var-kvar-in-i-det-sista-pa-metro-for-att-forsoka-radda-viralgranskaren/

https://www.dagensmedia.se/medier/dagspress/trion-bakom-viralgranskaren-startar-byra/

https://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/kallkritikbyran-tar-over-jakten-pa-fejk-pa-natet/

Viralgranskaren was started March 2014 and ended with the collapse of Metro in Aug 2019. We applied for and was accepted as a signatory of IFCN Code of principles twice and would have applied for a third year, but the crisis put a stop to that. We, the three founders of Viralgranskaren, Jack Werner, Linnéa Jonjons and Åsa Larsson, decided to start over and try to save Viralgranskaren and the only way in the end turned out to be to start over with Källkritikbyrån. We started factchecking early December and published our first piece on 10 Dec: https://kallkritikbyran.se/stroke-mejl-fran-2004-gar-igen-pa-svenska-viralsajter/

2. As of today no one is employed in the company but that will change during this spring. The plan is for Åsa Larsson to be employed as editor and the other two founders Jack Werner and Linnéa Jonjons will help in different ways. 

3. Factchecks, cooperations with other media, lectures and producing guides and helpful tools for the general public to become better at factchecking things.

4. The coming year our goal is to be able to keep factchecking the Swedish social media scene and raise awareness of media literacy issues. We also want to see if we can find the answers to some of the big questions of our time, for example how do we make internet a more tolerable place for more people?

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This organization originates from Viralgranskaren, a well known and respected initiative that was the first fact checking organization to be compliant by the IFCN in Sweden, and in the Nordics. The track record of Viralgranskaren is extremely good. Even though they were part of the publishing company Metro, and the journalists employed at Metro experienced various difficulties over a substantial time period, while Viralgranskaren existed, it remained a trustworthy source in Sweden.

The stand alone company Källkritikbyrån was started in 2019 by the founders of Viralgranskaren, and the first fact check available on the site was published the 10th of December. So far 22 stories have been published, which is below the required 26 stories (criteria in effect this June).

Three journalists are listed on the website, but the signatory states in the application that it so far does not have any employees.

The organization publishes fact checks, give talks and have the ambition to provide the audience with how-to guides regarding fact-checks. Furthermore, the plan is to be able to start or contribute to debates.




done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We think every factcheck we've done with Källkritikbyrån has an impact on either indivduals who are the focus of some online rumour or society as a whole, where groups spread lies either about each other or about some aspect of life or structures of society. All of them is of public interest and some of these could potentially be harmful such as incorrect health advice, propaganda or racism. Even the "joke gone bad" shows the problems for individuals when they become the focus of viral stories with incorrect facts. Also trust between people diminishes when you spread falsehoods and the feeling of that you can't trust anything.

Files Attached
description Kallkritikbyran.xlsx (6 KB) description Kallkritikbyran.xlsx (6 KB)
Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The signatory has provided an excel sheet with links to 19 stories. Topics are varied, however with an emphasis on the new Corona virus. The signatory states that all provided fact checks are of public interest. I agree, 100% of these stories are in the public interest. Not only do they assess false claims, they also expose on a regular basis which Swedish media outlets that have published this misinformation. This aspect is also important concerning public interest, and will (in time) put pressure on Swedish legacy media to be more careful with what they publish. Several fact checks have a distinct service journalism feature, as "news you can use" which strengthens the signatory in terms of having an impact on the welfare and well-being of individuals with their stories. 


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago


Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Over the past three months, the majority of the stories cover different aspects of the Corona crisis. 

False claims are assessed by providing links to correct information, quotes from interviews with experts and an account for where the original statement came from, if a statement has been taken from it's original context. Stories contain images and as previously mentioned an account for where the false claim has been published.

As noted in the comment for 1.3, several stories take a "service journalism" turn on the corona crisis, guiding the individual audience member in topics such as false health, consumer product, or company related advice. 

Currently, we are not approaching an election in Sweden, therefore, the number of stories assessing political claims are minimal.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We are not controlled by the state or political parties and have no commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship to government or politicians.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The company appears completely independent. It does not seem as if they earn any money yet, and no sponsors are listed on the website. 


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

No sponsors and no sources of funding are listed. Furthermore, the signatory states that nobody is currently employed. Perhaps this has to do with the absence of revenues.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Our model is to check viral claims. We have not, as some other factchecking organizations, focused on factchecking quotes from politicians or powerful people for example. A more statement-oriented style of factchecking would have made more claims more easy to categorize into different political camps. Viral claims don't always reflect sides in political issues that clearly and when they do the right wing sphere has a lot more material that goes viral. But we try to pick from all sides.

We adhere to the code of conduct for journalists in Sweden: https://www.sjf.se/yrkesfragor/yrkesetik/yrkesetiska-regler

And the the ethics code for publicists, in English here: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/journalism/j6075/edit/ethiccodes/SWEDEN.html

10 examples:

The Sweden democrats has brought a very clear division to Swedish politics. People are generally either very pro och very anti SD. In this article we look at two claims, one made by the party leader of the Sweden democrats during a radio program, and one meme based on an incorrect quotation deriving from the same radio show. The latter is spread gleefully by opposers of SD.

https://kallkritikbyran.se/vad-sa-jimmie-akesson-egentligen/

Here we take a look at a false claim made about the Finnish prime minister and it's trail through Swedish media. The idea of a shorter work day and/or week seems to be especially appealing to more socialist groups and we notice that red alternative media picked this up.

https://kallkritikbyran.se/slarv-i-europa-om-tiden-i-finland/

We've also checked right wing sites and organizations:

https://kallkritikbyran.se/nej-sjukvarden-har-inte-infort-dodsblanketter/

https://kallkritikbyran.se/region-dalarna-djupt-olyckligt-att-sant-har-far-spridning/

And checked one image that ended up in the climate debate:

https://kallkritikbyran.se/skrapig-buss-blev-slagtra-i-klimatdebatten/

We use the same methods as standard, we tell the reader where we encountered the claim, whether it's been spread by Swedish users, try to account for how viral the claim is and in which context it's been spread. Then we backtrack it to the source, ask relevant experts about the facts and present them in the article.

https://kallkritikbyran.se/blod-pa-toalett-i-usa-oroar-svenska-facebook-anvandare/

https://kallkritikbyran.se/stroke-mejl-fran-2004-gar-igen-pa-svenska-viralsajter/

https://kallkritikbyran.se/gammal-varning-om-kamknivar-sprids-pa-nytt/

https://kallkritikbyran.se/sa-sprids-ryktena-om-coronaviruset-i-sverige/

Sometimes we start out with the assumption that there's something fishy and find out that it's in fact true and then we answer our readers with what we've found out, as in the case of the fraudster wanting you to use a payment app:

https://kallkritikbyran.se/en-swish-varning-att-ta-pa-allvar/

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The published fact-checks have all been published by the same person. She follows the same template for each story, where a claim is presented using links and images, experts confirm or falsify a claim, links are provided to facts or to previously published information and the conclusion is clearly explained. 

Stories appear mostly to be responses to viral claims that have been picked up by Swedish media outlets, and during this time period, stories revolve around the Corona virus. There is a clear tendency to select claims from extreme far right wing websites or social media accounts. The political nature of the actual stories are however low or the political nature of the topics are not the primary focus of the story. 

The signatory states in the application that the lack of political stories is also part of their intention. Källkritikbyrån states that they will not focus on fact checking quotes by politicians. The signatory does however provide a few fact checks based on things politicians have said or done. 


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The signatory mentions in the about section that it systematically will review false claims online and pass on the knowledge we have to the public. However, it is very hard to find the explanation of the methodology. It exists, but is well hidden at the bottom of the page and not included in the about section.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

All stories published (22) has been reviewed. In my opinion, there are no red flags, as stated in the guidelines for assessors. The signatory mostly use primary sources and contacts them for interviews. Such sources can for example be the he chief epidemiologist at Sweden's Public Health Agency or the press officer of a company. Quotes from the interviews are provided. Secondary sources are also  used to back up a primary source. Most stories rely on several sources, and where they do not, it is a very clear cut case that only needs one source.

As previously stated, the applicant follows a sort of template for fact checks where links are provided, facts are presented and sources are contacted for quotes that can help falsify or verify a claim. 


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I did not find explicit evidence of that the interests of a source is explained, however titles of sources are always provided, and for the published stories, I think that is sufficient. 

I will give you two examples for how sources' intentions are not explained explicitly. 

First example: In a story about a false chain letter about a grocery store, the disclaimer of the official grocery store's social media account is used as a source. Their motives are not explained, but of course it is in their interest to tell the truth about the false chain letter written in their name. The motives of those that created the false chain letter is not explained or analyzed, rather the chain letter creator's own words for why they are spreading false information, as a "fun thing" are provided. 

Second example: In a story about various viral corona virus advice, several images are provided showing the original true message, and images of how these original messages have been altered. Reading the story makes it very clear what is true and false, but the intentions of people that create the false images, or why people like to share false information in this manner are not explained.

In my opinion, explicitly explaining such intentions would be speculation, and therefore my assessment of this criteria is that the signatory is compliant.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Källkritikbyrån
05-May-2020 (4 months ago)

We've made changes under the segment "Medieetiska avvägningar" to clarify that the journalists writing for Källkritikbyrån cannot act in a way that will endanger the trust of our readers, specifically when it comes to our unbiased and independent journalism.

https://kallkritikbyran.se/var-journalistik/

Ester Appelgren Assessor
11-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

There is no policy describing non-partisanship for the staff on the website.


cancel 2.5 marked as Request change by Ester Appelgren.
Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2020 (4 months ago)

There is no policy describing non-partisanship for the staff on the website.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Sources are in almost all cases provided with links, or in the case of interviews, titles are provided. 

I found a few images that were not linked to the original source, and some images were not always described with a source. This appears to be intentional to ensure anonymity of social media users and private citizens that have shared viral claims. This practice as part of the ethics for journalists, is implicitly described in the section "Our journalism". Thus, images without sources seems to consist of screenshots of false claims. It would perhaps be good to explain that this is the reason for why some images does not have proper sources in a more explicit manner.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Most stories have primary sources such as interviews with experts or organizations' public statements are quoted with clear references. 

If the story is composed more as a chronological guide towards finding the truth regarding a claim or proof of that an image is false, the narrative revolves around how the journalist come to the conclusion that the claim is false, by following leads on the internet. Links or explanations to these leads are provided to ensure replicability.

I did not find evidence of explanations for why a secondary source is used. It appears to me that secondary sources are used to further strengthen an argument, even though there are already primary sources used, or in the case that a viral false claim is fact checked, secondary sources are used to falsify the claim as the most often private individual sharing the claim is not contacted as part of the methodology of Källkritikbyrån.

In my opinion the signatory is therefore compliant.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

At least two experts are contacted in each story, but not always. Two examples below shows that sometimes only one source is used, and in such instances it is relevant to only use one source: In the case of the fake image of australian fires for example, only one person was quoted (the creator of the original image). The same goes for the note written by a construction worker in Norway where the only source were the head of press of the construction firm who stated that the note was an unfortunate joke.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Interests of the actors quoted either in interviews or as links to other information are not explicitly mentioned. In several stories other fact-checking initiatives are quoted as part of the account for evidence of why a claim is false. This is used for international news or news from countries in the Nordics. Titles are provided and clear names of organizations, (in particular public agencies as many stories concern aspects connected to the Corona virus) are given for all sources. It does not appear necessary to explain the interests of the sources in more detail. 


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We are an independent organization.

https://kallkritikbyran.se/om-oss/

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant is an independent organization.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Källkritikbyrån
05-May-2020 (4 months ago)

We've made a special segment "Finansiering" to detail our newly started company's funding and since we applied we've gotten for example ad coupons from Facebook and done a collaboration with the public service channel UR. We hope that these changes makes it clear for the reader how we are making money and intend to finance our business.

https://kallkritikbyran.se/om-oss/ 

Ester Appelgren Assessor
13-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

No funding is detailed as of yet. Only a promise that this will happen in the future.


cancel 4.2 marked as Request change by Ester Appelgren.
Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2020 (4 months ago)



done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Ester Appelgren Assessor
11-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Three journalists are listed as founders of Källkritikbyrån, one of them is the editor in chief.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Professional biografies are provided for the three journalists.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

On the first page we have a box for tips and in the bottom of most of the articles we encourage people to send tips.

https://kallkritikbyran.se/

https://kallkritikbyran.se/vad-sa-jimmie-akesson-egentligen/

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant clearly encourages the audience to make contact if they want a claim to be fact checked, have questions or want to point out that a correction is needed. The applicant also urges people to contact the journalists as invited speakers on topics related to fact checking.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

There is a section describing the methodology. This section is easy to understand, and the signatory explains on what grounds they will select and assess claims for their stories. Viral stories that appear in Swedish media or is shared on social media in Sweden forms the basis for the selection of claims that are fact checked.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant states that the stories published are selected using classical journalistic news selection, what the journalists believe the audience want to know about society. They describe that viral spread of a claim is important as a basis for selection. From my review of the stories, this is visible. Källkritikbyrån always states that a claim has been shared in social media, or that it has been shared from an influential social media account, or in fact in legacy media.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Because the stories published are focused on showing that a claim is false, the signatory does not use a practice of showing support for the false claim in the stories. However, Källkritikbyrån often provides evidence of how the false claims could have been misinterpreted in the first place.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This criteria is about using the same standards to check evidence, and since most stories are based on claims or misinformation there is, as previosly mentioned a sort of "template" on how to go about when the journalists uncover that the claim is false. Several sources form the basis for the judgement of the claim, and every story follows the same pattern.  


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This criteria concerns if the applicant seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim to seek supporting evidence. 

It does not appear as part of the methodology of Källkritikbyrån to contact the people making viral false claims, and perhaps this is not even possible. 

I found one account for that Källkritikbyrån has tried to contact reporters, but did not get a response from them. However, they contact experts and organizations to build an argument against the false claims.

I do not think the criteria is relevant in this case.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We encourage readers to send us claims on our page and in our social media channels, for example:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kallkritikbyran/posts/113390343598317

https://www.facebook.com/kallkritikbyran/posts/113760496894635

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kallkritikbyran/status/1234819898188161025

We communicate with most of the people who are sending us tips directly, by answering their emails etc. We also outline our reasoning regarding viral stories here:

https://kallkritikbyran.se/var-journalistik/

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

How to send in claims to check is extremely visible. There is always a form for user interaction on the top right side of each story. The audience is encouraged to contact the journalists in the about section, and the section "Our journalism" has a description of what claims one can expect to get fact checked.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Yes, this link is correct but it is rather hard to find. I would have expected to find it in the about section, rather than by clicking on this link found at the bottom of the page with the title "Our journalism".


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

There are a few sentences written about corrections in the well hidden methodology section. It appears as if corrections will be made as soon as someone contacts the signatory with a justified complaint and corrections will be noted at the bottom of a story.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Källkritikbyrån
01-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We have as of yet not received a corrections request with Källkritikbyrån and regarding Viralgranskaren we updated a number of articles over the years. We only retracted one factcheck though. The reason was a claim by one of the interviewed persons for an article. He claimed that he had been misunderstood and meant something else. We took down the article and spent a week researching the new claim. It turned out inconclusive and we told our readers so in an article: https://web.archive.org/web/20161213151415/https://www.metro.se/artikel/delade-muslimer-ut-t%C3%A5rta-i-nordstan-f%C3%B6r-att-fira-terrord%C3%A5det-i-paris-xr

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant states that there has not been any requests for corrections yet.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This criteria is not relevant, as Källkritikbyrån is a new signatory.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
09-Apr-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This criteria is not relevant as the organization is a stand-alone organization.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.