Le Monde - Les Décodeurs

Organization: Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
Applicant: Jonathan Pariente
Assessor: Benjamin Keltz
Conclusion and recommendations
on 04-Jun-2018 (5 years ago)

Benjamin Keltz wrote:

According to my assessment, I think that Les décodeurs, the fact-checking district of Le Monde, should be recognized as a serious partner. This media respects most of the IFCN’s criterias and keeps improving the offer to satisfy its readers.

Otherwise, our report points out some details to fix. The legal notices « Les mentions légales » of the website, are actually not easily accessible to non-subscribers. The biographies of the journalists are very brief. The methodology used for the selection of claims could be more precise.

on 04-Jun-2018 (5 years ago)

Benjamin Keltz recommended Accept

Section 1: Organization

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

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Le Monde is a company registered in Paris (registration number 433 891 850), editing a newspaper and online articles. The fact-checking and datavizualisation department is Les Décodeurs, created in 2014 (it was a fact-checking blog since 2009). It comes with 10 principles, aiming to give contexte and facts to the readers, transparency of all our sources, etc.



Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Les décodeurs is the fact-checking and datavisualization district of Le Monde. This newspaper is a legally recognized. All the proof of its legal registration (ISSN, CPPAP and TVA registration) are founded on the newspaper's website.

The link « Mentions légales » points to https://moncompte.lemonde.fr/mentions-legales This link only works for subscribers. However, it is possible to access the right page after retyping this http’s address : http://moncompte.lemonde.fr/mentions-legales This looks like a malfunction.

done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

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

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)
Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Les décodeurs develops several fact-checking offers to their readers. Firstly, editors publish articles, several times a week, witch respect fact-checking codes : http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/

Daily, Les décodeurs’s team takes care to answer to the questions of its readers. In the part of the website named “Vos questions, nos réponses”, the editorial team rexplains an information, redirects a reader to an other media's article answering its questions, or explain their choice of claim : http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/live/2016/09/28/posez-vos-questions-aux-decodeurs_5004759_4355770.html

Les décodeurs has also created a fact-check tool named Décodex : http://www.lemonde.fr/verification/ This program is dedicated to hunt down rumors, false informations and disputed media. A Facebook chat bot has recently been activated.

Through all its offers, Les décodeurs ensures a daily fact-cheking service.

done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

Section 2: Nonpartisanship and Fairness

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

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

  1. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/02/15/si-tu-savais-najat-une-fausse-lettre-de-jean-d-ormesson-relayee-par-l-extreme-droite_5080130_4355770.html 
  2. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/02/14/tous-les-terroristes-sont-immigres-l-intox-du-depute-europeen-fn-nicolas-bay_5079530_4355770.html 
  3. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/02/10/recepisse-de-controle-d-identite-l-argument-un-peu-rapide-de-bruno-le-roux_5077714_4355770.html 
  4. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/02/06/les-erreurs-et-approximations-de-la-defense-de-fillon_5075579_4355770.html 
  5. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/01/25/la-pauvrete-a-plutot-regresse-manuel-valls-enjolive-son-bilan_5068795_4355770.html 
  6. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2016/12/12/le-pic-de-pollution-n-est-pas-venu-des-centrales-a-charbon-allemandes_5047702_4355770.html 
  7. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2016/12/15/fausses-images-et-propagande-de-la-bataille-d-alep_5049097_4355770.html 
  8. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2016/05/19/fausses-informations-en-serie-sur-l-a320-disparu-d-egyptair_4922837_4355770.html 
  9. http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2015/11/15/ces-fausses-photos-qui-circulent-apres-les-attaques-de-paris_4810283_4355770.html

We cover all kinds of topics. Les Décodeurs has found, since 2009, its origin in political fact-checking – we still fact-check political leaders, from any party. Since 2015, we have also focused on debunking fake news and rumors, about terrorist attacks, migrants and any other relevant topic. Each story is published after editorial meetings between the journalist and the editor of Le Monde and Les Décodeurs. Our standards are described in our charter, which is available to the public. If the quote is not precise enough, we contact the person in order to have a better understanding. If we don’t have an answer from him or her, we do write it in our article. When we find fake news or rumors, we always go back to the source. If there is a controversy about a fact, we do mention it. If there is an error in an article, mentioned by the implicated person (or readers), we correct it and mention it with an edit. Eventually, any article is read at least 4 times before it gets published.

Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)











During the presidential campaign, Les décodeurs has worked on Marine Le Pen’s claims as well as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Benoit Hamon, Emmanuel Macron, François Fillon. Some of these candidates have been more fact-checked mostly because of their habit to manipulate the truth.

This assessment has been focus on the newspaper's ability to focus on all political french trends. According to this criteria, we can answer that Les décodeurs complies.

During this intense political period, time of our evaluation, those examples show how Les décodeurs has also continued to fact-check claims witch are not related to politic's items (immigration, environment…) and sometimes international issues.

done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

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

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Le Monde has a tradition of political neutrality in news articles, which must be balanced and give the opportunity of people involved to speak. Le Monde has a charter of professional ethics, which is public. It explicitly forbid journalists to claim political preferences or to cover a topic of which they have potential conflict of interests. We also have an ethics comitee of independent external members, the CEO company, the Editor and elected representatives of journalists, employees and readers. The Société des rédacteurs (regrouping the journalists and which is a minority shareholder) is very vigilant about possible violations of ethics.


Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

On their homepage, Les décodeurs describes their editorial policy :


This document mentiones ten rules witch sounds like the journalism basics. Les décodeurs’s team explains how their journalists verified, sourced, contextualized and sometimes corrected, their informations.

Les décodeurs is also submitted to Le Monde’s charter : http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2010/11/03/la-charte-d-ethique-et-de-deontologie-du-groupe-le-monde_1434737_3236.html

This document explains rights and duties of their journalists.

Extracts :

« The purpose of this charter is to recall the essential principles of independence, freedom and reliability of information and to clarify the rights and duties of journalists, managers and shareholders. »

« Respect the truth, whatever may be the consequences for itself, because of the public's right to know the truth »

« Correct any published information that is inaccurate »

« Journalists demand free access to all sources of information and the right to investigate freely all the facts that condition public life »

« The journalist has the right to refuse any subordination which would be contrary to the general line of his business, as determined in writing in his contract of employment, as well as any subordination not clearly implied by this general line .

« The journalist may not be compelled to perform a professional act or to express an opinion that would be contrary to his conviction or conscience. »

done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

Section 3: Transparency of Sources

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

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

The chart of Les Décodeurs explicitly mention the sources must be accessible in one click. We aim to be very strict about our sources, that’s our contract with readers. Every fact must be checked with all available data. We do mention the source, and we link it when we can, so that the reader can get access to the source and the data. More and more, we publish our data (used for graphics) in open source, mainly on Github but also on the French official platform Data.gouv.fr.



Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Les décodeurs is committed to the transparency of the sources used :

« Our sources are accessible with one click. Our articles explicitly mention the source of a fact or a figure. As soon as a fact, a number, a source, is available on the Internet, we indicate it by a link. »

Our assessment confirmes that the mention of the sources used in their fack-checking articles are as most as possible clearly written.

Here is an article in which Les décodeurs has used different sources and linked to it (Concurrents medias, officials decrees, tweet screenshot…)


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

Section 4: Transparency of Funding & Organization

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

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

We do inform our readers of every change in the capital. Le Monde’s majority shareholders are Pierre Bergé, Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse and the Spanish group Prisa. The charter of professional ethics mention the rights but also, and especially, the duties of the shareholders, in particular a strict ban on interfering with editorial content. http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2017/01/27/groupe-le-monde-une-transformation-en-bonne-voie_5070086_3236.html http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2017/01/27/ce-que-change-le-nouvel-accord-entre-les-personnels-du-monde-et-les-actionnaires-du-groupe_5070198_3236.html 

Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Le Monde is transparent about its financing and its economic's actuality. Shareholders (Xavier Niel, Mathieu Pigasse et Pierre Bergé) are clearly mentioned :


Major changes in the management of the newspaper are approved by the pole of independence in witch representative of journalists, staff, readers and founders of the group are seated. This consortium was built to supervised the reader’s interests :


Le Monde has instituted rules and set up for the non-interference monitoring bodies mentioned in the newspaper’s charter :

« Two separate ethics and ethics committees, in charge of the daily Le Monde, its supplements or variations, Interactive World sites and its digital applications on the one hand, and all magazines. And their numerical variations on the other hand, are responsible for ensuring compliance with this charter. »


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

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

Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Les décodeurs’s team is detailed in a page linked from the homepage. All the member of the staff is named. Articles are signed by their author. Journalist’s name points to his-her twitter account. https://twitter.com/decodeurs/lists/equipe/members?lang=fr

On the site, autor’s biographies are very brief. None mentions the career of the journalist. Only picture, name, function are founded.

In the part « Vos questions, nos réponses », the answers made to readers are only signed by “Les décodeurs”. Readers do not know who is answering.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

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

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)
Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Les décodeurs has created an effective exchange space with their readers.


Journalists can easily be founded and contacted on social networks especially Twitter and Facebook.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

Section 5: Transparency of Methodology

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

Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

The editor explains clearly in a charter (available on the homepage) how Les décodeurs works :


This document explains :

« The decoders are turned towards factual verification. Assertions - whether from policy or other public actors - are verified and contextualized. »

However, Les décodeurs explains briefly the method used to select the claims to fact-check :

« Les Décodeurs from Le Monde are factual checks, explanations and context around current events, at the rhythm of the networks. »

We asked by mail more details about the method to Les décodeurs. Our email has been joined to the assessment. 

done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

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

Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

The Les décodeurs's readers can easly keep in touch with the staff. The « Vos questions, nos réponses » (Your questions, our answers) is a way to submit topics and also ask for explanations about publicated articles.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

Section 6: Open & Honest Corrections Policy

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

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Le Monde is making its best effort to update stories and contents that would, unfortunately, have mistakes or imprecisions when first published. As we do so, we explain our readers why and how we made this update.

Benjamin Keltz Assessor
16-Jun-2017 (5 years ago)

Les Décodeurs ensures in their charter taking into account remarks from readers. Mistakes are also corrected. Any modification added on a published text is mentioned.

done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Benjamin Keltz.

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