Metamorphosis Foundation

Organization: Metamorphosis Foundation
Applicant: Vladimir Petreski
Assessor: Ivana Jeremic

Background

Vistinomer is a prominent fact-checking platform founded by the Metamorphosis Foundation, based in North Macedonia. They publish various fact-checking articles covering topics such as politics, health, finance, COVID-19, misinformation and others.

Assessment Conclusion

Over the past year, Vistinomer has maintained the high quality of its work following strict ethical standards. In 2021, they increased their production which is now on a practically daily basis. Given the specificity of the current political situation in Northern Macedonia, their role is of great importance to readers, both locally and in the region. Once again, the conclusion is that they deserve to retain the status of a signatory to the Code and that they represent a worthy partner of the International Fact-checking Network.

on 19-Nov-2021 (5 months ago)

Ivana Jeremic assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Vo tekot na izminatata godina, Vistinomer go zadrža visokiot kvalitet na svojata rabota potpirajḱi se na strogite etički standardi. Vo 2021 godina go zgolemija svoeto proizvodstvo koe sega e praktično na dnevna osnova. So ogled na specifičnosta na aktuelnata politička situacija vo Severna Makedonija, nivnata uloga e od golemo značenje za čitatelite, kako na lokalno, taka i vo regionot. Ušte ednaš, zaklučokot e deka tie zaslužuvaat da go zadržat statusot na potpisnik na Kodeksot i deka pretstavuvaat dostoen partner na Meǵunarodnata mreža za proverka na fakti.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer (Truthmeter) was established and is published as a distinct unit of the by the Metamorphosis Foundation, a non-governmental organization incorporated in Skopje, North Macedonia which is registered under the Associations and Foundations Law in 2004. 

Vistinomer is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking, and is publishing at between five to ten fact checks per week.

Vistinomer Contact page (https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/ in Macedonian, https://truthmeter.mk/contact/ in English) clearly states that the web site is published by the Metamorphosis Foundation. 

Vistinomer About page clearly states the web site public interest fact checking purpose, as well as the list of donors throughout the years (https://vistinomer.mk/za-vistinomer/ in Macedonian, https://truthmeter.mk/about-truthmeter/ in English). 

Metamorphosis Foundation web site is metamorphosis.org.mk and it contains the information on all aspects of the work of the organization, including other projects, units and programs.

By law, civil society organizations in North Macedonia are obliged to publish annual accounts on their website. Metamorphosis Foundation annual financial/tax/audit reports (2010-2020) on the following section of the website metamorphosis.org.mk/za-nas/godishni-izveshtai/ in Macedonian and https://metamorphosis.org.mk/en/about/annual-reports/ in English. 

Vistinomer is not separately registered with the state. According to the Macedonia’s media/broadcasting laws, internet media/publications do not require separate registration with the state/media regulator.

Vistinomer has three language editions:

Vistinomer.mk (Macedonian language edition)

Vertetmates.mk (Albanian language edition)

Truthmeter.mk (English language edition)

Albanian and English language editions are not separately and/or differently edited or staffed (except with translators). They publish only Albanian and/or English language translations of the Macedonian edition originals.

Please find attached the latest version of the Metamorphosis registration document issued by Central Registry confirming our registration status as legal person, called „Current Status“. 

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf tekovna sostojba 17.... (485 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Details about Vistinomer's legal status and the publisher can be found on their web page. 


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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?

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

1. Vistinomer (Truthmeter) was established in April 2011 by Metamorphosis Foundation as a public accountability and transparency web site. It responded to the need to promote democracy and helping citizens make informed choices by keeping politicians and democratic institutions accountable by fact-checking the veracity of the statements by politicians, state and public officials, and other influential figures, and to create public record on the fulfilment of their promises. In 2012 Metamorphosis expanded the work of the Truthmeter to the area of media fact-checking, and in 2018 also started addressing the aspects of fact-checking related to media literacy, also tackling disinformation spread via social network platforms.   

More information regarding the reasons for the creation of Vistinomer and its work are published at the web sites' About page 
https://vistinomer.mk/za-vistinomer/ in Macedonian, and https://truthmeter.mk/about-truthmeter/ in English.

2. Vistimer as fact-checking unit within Metamorphosis Foundation is run by a core team editor-in-chief, 2 other editors in charge of fact-checking, 2 translators, IT person and 2 social media specialists, as well as 9 associate journalists/fact-checkers. 

Here is the list of the Vistinomer editorial board, authors, the support staff and the outside contributors together with their short CV's published at the web sites' Contact Page: https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/ in Macedonian, and https://truthmeter.mk/contact/ in English). 

The Vistinomer parent organization Metamorphosis Foundation has a larger team and their roles are transparently described on the following page https://metamorphosis.org.mk/en/about/staff/


3. Vistinomer (Truthmeter) work is mainly focused on political fact-checking (verification of truthfulness of statements by politiicans, officials and influential public figures, and fulfilment of political party election promises), as well as fact-checking of viral disinformation on social media platforms and in the media sphere of North Macedonia. The  team also engages in cooperation with other fact-checking organizations from the Balkans on tackling cross-border disinformation. The team produces a steady flow of fact-checking contents (articles, short videos) and from time to time conducts trainings on issues such as fact-checking methodology, media literacy, critical thinking, countering hate speech for journalists from the country and the region.   

Vistinomer operates as a unit within the Media Program of the Metamorphosis Foundation. The other activities of the Metamorphosis Foundation, the publisher of Vistinomer are conducted through four main program areas (Media for Democracy, Social Accountability, Education for Innovation and Human Rights Online). More information about the programs as well as the current and previous projects are available on Metamorphosis website: https://metamorphosis.org.mk/en/programs/

4. Over the coming year the activities of our fact-checking operations will include:

- Continuing of political fact-checking by verifying truthfulness of statements of political actors and fulfillment of political parties election promises. Providing fact-checking coverage during sensitive periods and important events, such as elections (if present during the period).   

- Continuing our work as Facebook third party independent fact checker as we did in the last 14 months (since August 2020). During this period we regularly published several dozen fact-checks - explanatory articles/reviews of disinformation per month. The most widely covered subject concerns COVID-19 disinformation, which was and still is our main focus. We intend to continue covering COVID-19 disinformation for as long as necessary, because of their virality and possibility of causing harm. We, of course, do cover all viral disinformation, but we also noticed that COVID-19 disinformation is persistent are more plentiful even during other important events such as elections or census. 

- Until the end of January 2021 we particularly focus on vaccine disinformation through our Rapid Response to Vaccine Disinformation project, financed by the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), which includes reports, videos, fact checks and events specifically on the vaccine disinformation, which is rampant on the internet. This project also includes cooperation with a local medical NGO comprised of medical doctors, which we use as sources and speakers at our events.

- Until the end of June 2021, we are also working on a project titled Fact Checking the Progress of North Macedonia Towards the EU funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Among other activities, here we continue to promote public accountability and transparency through Vistinomer by fact-checking the fulfillment of the political parties' election promises. Since the local elections are over and the new mayors and municipality councils will need time to start fulfilling their election promises, we will direct our efforts toward fact checking the election promises of the national authorities, especially those concerning the EU integrations. We will, however, continue to fact check statements of the public office holders, as well as other persons with influence over the creation of public policies at all levels, both local and national.

- We intend to grow and develop our nascent video production efforts at the Truthmeter in order to also offer video fact checks. Both of the above mentioned projects also include video production and some of the videos will include video fact checks, where we create a video version of our written fact checks or create native video format fact checking reviews. This last year was our first attempt in video production with the project titled Counterspin TV which lasted for 6 months from September 2020 up until March 2021 and was funded by a fact checking development grant through the IFCN. Our videos can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEmJWcLgHr9ra5xfuJFn2Yw

These are just some of the activities we intend to implement during the next 12 months.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer is a platform established by the Metamorphosis Foundation for fact-checking purposes exclusively. Besides the standard forms of fact-checks covering the statements and (in)consistency of politicians' promises and acts, they focus on media literacy, covid-19 related stories and working as Facebook's partner. In future, they plan to include video form as a way to approach the public and will focus their attention on North Macedonia's EU accession talk.  


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer is a public accountability and transparency web site. Our core mission is to increase the transparency and accountability of the public officials, political parties and state institutions.

Here is the list of our fact-checking sections together with the link to the section and the number of fact-checks in every section over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.

One of the main activities in accomplishing our mission consists of fact checking statements of the elected and appointed officials, public figures with influence over the creation of public policies and press releases of the political parties. This is accomplished through the following section:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/rubrika-izjavi-mk/ (23 articles - 5. April-7.October, 2021)

Vistinomer also analyses the state of fulfillment of the political parties’ election promises, as well as the issues regarding accountability and transparency practices of the local and state institutions. Here is the link to this section:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/rubrika-vetuvanja-mk/ (66 articles - 17.April-15. October, 2021)

From the August 2020, as Vistinomer became Third Party Independent Fact -Checking Partner, we established a separate section for these fact checks. This section lately also includes fact checks from our BTD funded Rapid Response to Vaccine Disinformation project, as well as NED funded Fact Checking the Progress of North Macedonia Towards the EU project. All of the articles in this section are fact-checks, regardless of their project affiliation. Here is the link to this section: 

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/proverka-na-fakti-mk/ (320 articles - 26. April-26. October 2021)

Note: according to the analysis of our fact-checks in this last section, over three quarters of our articles cover COVID-19 disinformation because of:

- their widespread incidence all over the social media and internet news media, 

- their virality, 

- persistence even in periods when other important national events occur (such as elections, NATO membership, census, etc.)

- and capacity of causing harm regarding the public health. 


Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer publishes various forms of fact-checks focusing on statements, promises, misinformation etc. In the last six months, Vistinomer had an almost daily production of fact-checks since it have become a Third Party Independent Fact-Checking Partner.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Here are our three fact checking-sections on the web site with the number of fact checks included during the last three months:

Section including fact checks of statements of the elected and appointed officials, public figures with influence over the creation of public policies and press releases of the political parties:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/rubrika-izjavi-mk/ (15 articles - 16. July-7.October, 2021)

Section including fact checks regarding the state of fulfillment of the political parties’ election promises:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/rubrika-vetuvanja-mk/ (50 articles - 16.July-15. October, 2021)

Section including Third Party Independent Fact-Checking Facebook Partner, fact checks from our BTD funded Rapid Response to Vaccine Disinformation project, as well as NED funded Fact Checking the Progress of North Macedonia Towards the EU project:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/proverka-na-fakti-mk/ (169 articles - 26.July-25.October 2021)

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer publishes fact-cheks tackling relevant issues such as promises and statements made by public officials, money spending, economy, health and disinformation etc. They also track election promises which help hold politicians accountable.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Metamorphosis Foundation, the Vistinomer publisher, does not receive funds from the state, politicians and political parties in the country. Vistinomer is funded from projects Metamorphosis Foundation is awarded by international donors and non-profit organizations interested in strengthening democracy and accountability in the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as providing services such as fact-checking. This is the way to preserve the independence, credibility and non-partisan nature of the web site, as well as unbiased fact-checking based on our methodology and our partners' guidelines. Donors have no influence on our editorial production which is conducted solely according to the published methodologies which are based on the Code of Journalists of Macedonia and the IFCN Code of Principles. 

Metamorphosis Foundation annual financial and audit reports (2010-2020) are published regularly and are available here: metamorphosis.org.mk/za-nas/godishni-izveshtai/ in Macedonian and https://metamorphosis.org.mk/en/about/annual-reports/ in English. 

As a unit, at the About section of our web site, Vistinomer/Truthmeter publishes the information of the projects providing specific funding for its activities, including names of our donors, together with the periods of provided funding: https://vistinomer.mk/za-vistinomer/ in Macedonian, https://truthmeter.mk/about-truthmeter/ in English. 

During the latest funding period (June 2021-January, 2022 and July 2021-June 2022) Metamorphosis Foundation and Vistinomer received grants from the Balkan Trust for Democracy of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (gmfus.org) and National Endowment for Democracy (ned.org). Vistinomer editorial team has complete editorial independence in making the editorial decisions when it comes to these grants. To increase transparency and visibility, articles produced under auspices of specific projects also contain disclaimers with more information. For instance:

„This article has been produced as part of the Rapid Response to Vaccine Disinformation Project, implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation. It was originally published in Truthmeter, and is made possible by the support of (BTD – The Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States). The content of this article is the sole responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, BTD or their partners.“  


Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer did not receive money from the state nor is in any way connected to political parties. Information about their donors and are available on Vistinomer and Metamorphosis websites.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Non applicable. 

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Bellow is a selection of our fact checks from different sections of our web site in order to provide broader picture of our fact checking activities. We included fact checks of statements of the politicians, as well as fact checks of social media content in chronological order.

Vistinomer team always follows the methodology when performing fact checks allowing us to maintain coherent standards across fact checks. Our methodology for fact-checking the media is used within the entire Metamorphosis Foundation for fact-checking. It was previously used in the Media Fact-Checking Service (2013-17), as well as the fact checking and media literacy project CriThink – Critical Thinking for Mediawise Citizens (2018-2021). This methodology was developed in 2012-13 and is updated as needed. It is a document that explains the way of collecting information, their systematization and selection, use of sources and all other journalism techniques for finding and managing information, but placed in the context of fact-checking of previously published content by various actors in public discourse. The rules, practices and techniques set out in this methodology are comprehensive and can apply to all types of media, but special attention is paid to the specifics of fact-checking in content published online. 

Our fact-checking methodology can be found here: 

http://factchecking.mk/methodology/ (English)

http://proverkanafakti.mk/методологија/ (Macedonian) 

Note: This methodology document is also linked to the methodology section at the Vistinomer web site.  

STATEMENT FACT CHECKS: Within each fact-checked statement, Vistinomer team includes embedded links to all the quoted sources, and in some cases more extensive lists of sources are also added at the end of the article for quick reference. It can also be seen that the structure of the articles is the same, providing us with uniformity of approach and a sure way in following the methodology. This, on the other hand, allows us to use the same standards of evidence for equivalent claims and follow the same essential process for every fact check.

When we fact check a statement, we always look for a video material containing the statement and use the original citation whenever possible. This allows us to avoid taking words out of context or missing out on an important part of the statement. 

Vistinomer team tags in the social media the individuals, institutions or media whose statements we fact check. With that we provide opportunity for them to react, comment and provide additional context if required as soon as possible.

MEDIA FACT CHECKS: whenever we are doing media fact checks, we always link to the original article and/or provide a complete screenshot of the whole page where the fact checked article is published.

Our fact checkers use primary sources in their fact checks whenever possible. We use publicly available information and databases regularly in our work, seek out help of experts and go through reports of domestic and international institutions, think thanks and NGOs. Unnamed sources are never used as a mean to come up with a conclusion in our fact checks. They are used only as a help in reaching or finding public and/or official sources and documents.


Fact-Checks/Reviews of Viral Disinformation or Media Manipulations

Нема лекари во државното здравство што работат за 250 евра плата - 05.09.2021

Three different and authoritative sources confirmed to us that there are no medical doctors (MD) in North Macedonia receiving EUR250.00 monthly pay and that even the beginner MD salaries are much higher. This was confirmed to us by the Health Ministry (the health minister himself), as well as representatives of two different MD associations.

„Фајзер“ плати 2.3 милијарди долари во судски спор, ама во 2009 година! – 24.09.2021

Despite the claim that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer will have to pay USD2.3 billion, we used a multitude of open official sources showing that this is disinformation and that this is 12 years old fine having nothing to do with the current COVID pandemic or the anti-COVID vaccine produced by the company.

Оваа детска лизгалка не е дел од изборната програма на кандидати за градоначалници на Скопје – 13.10.2021

Picture of kid slider, reminiscent of male and female genitalia during a sex act was untruthfully presented as if being part of an election platform of a political candidate. We were able to prove through research of primary sources that this is not true and that this object is not even located in N. Macedonia, but in Canada and has been used as a prop for a movie (comedy) during the filming. The accused politician in the statement for our web site also claimed that this object has nothing to do with his election platform.

Аргентински лекар не се вакцинирал со две дози во ист ден -11.09.2021

False claim says that an MD from Argentine was vaccinated twice in the same day. Through our research we uncovered his statement claiming this is not true, a video showing supporting his claim, as well as an explanation he gave to the media.

На Инфективна се хоспитализирани 159 пациенти, а паркинзите на комплексот клиники „Мајка Тереза“ полни – 25.08.2021

The post we fact checked shows an empty hospital parking pictured on a Sunday. This was used to claim that the hospital has no COVID patients. But, our pictures, taken during the working hours couple of days later show something completely different – hospital parking is full of cars, and there is even a policemen regulating traffic at the entrance. The health minister himself reported to us that on this particular day there were 159 patients in the COVID hospital.

ПЦР тестот не се исфрла од употреба, туку се подобрува за да детектира истовремено и ковид и инфлуенца – 16.08.2021

News article falsely claims that the PCR tests used for COVID diagnostics are being phased out because of inefficiency. We proved that this is not the case and that there is a recommendation to use newer tests that can discover both presence of SARS COV 2 and influenza virus. Our fact check quotes a CDC recommendation document and CDC spokesman statement to prove the existence of disinformation.

Сцена од видеоспот за рап-песна злоупотребена за манипулација дека ковид-19 е измама – 05.04.2021

Social media photo is being taken out of rap song video. The photo or the video are not connected to the COVID pandemic in any way, but the body bags put on a truck in the photo were used to spread disinformation. Namely, one of the persons on the truck is out of the body bags and smokes a cigarette. This was used as a “proof” that there is no pandemic and that vaccines are fake. But, the whole rap video, that we discovered, can be seen on YouTube and has 900K views.

Со фотомонтиран пример се шират лаги дека 11-годишни деца ќе учат за сексуално образование – 21.07.2021

Manipulated photo with added text in Macedonian language claims that the sex education will be thought to 4-th grade children. This is not true. It was debunked by the Education and Science Minister herself, and we also discovered the original photo, which originated abroad and has nothing to do with the sex education in N. Macedonia.


Verification of Truthfulness of Statements by Politicians, State Officials and Influential Public Figures

Заев се премисли – С. Македонија и Албанија можат да чекорат одделно на патот кон ЕУ – 27.07.2021

We rated this statement of the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev as inconsistent. In a period of two and a half months he completely changed his statement regarding the EU negotiations start date for Albania and North Macedonia. While first he claimed that it is impossible to separate the two countries road to EU membership, two and a half months later he stated the opposite claiming that “every country deserves to be rated according the results achieved”, adding that there is no reason for a country be connected to other countries on the road to EU.

Не е точно дека за влез во банка или маркет е потребен вакцинален сертификат - 18.08.2021

We rated as untrue a statement by opposition politician and former Member of Parliament from VMRO-DPMNE party Ilija Dimovski who claimed that vaccination certificates are required to enter banks or markets. At the time, the anti-COVID-19 measures enacted by the government did not include these types of businesses to demand vaccine certification from the patrons. We quoted the text of government decrees directly from the government website, providing appropriate links that enable citizens to verify the veracity of the information on their own also.     

Не е точна изјавата на Глен Бек дека САД побарале од македонските власти да не примаат бегалци од Авганистан – 27.08.2021

We rated the statement of the US TV commentator Glen Beck claiming that the State Department „told Macedonia to stop receiving refugees from Afghanistan”. We contacted the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they both denied the claim. Several days later the first Afghan refugees arrived in the country, confirming the Truthmeter findings. 



Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer's fact-checks are done following the highest standards of journalism. The same methodology is being used in various forms of fact-checks covering a wide spectre of topics. I would like to emphasise that Vistinomer uses more than one source, and relies on open data, while also trying to dig deeper and talk to stakeholders.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer maintains coherent standards across fact checks by strictly following its methodology. Our methodology contains rules and procedures regarding the rating of the truthfulness of the statements we fact check, criteria for selecting statements to fact check, rules regarding the selection, quoting and reporting our sources, rules on how to state conflicts of interest, etc.

We select the statements to fact check by the importance of the source, as well as the importance of the statement subject on the lives of the citizens. We diligently follow the methodology in order to secure consistency and fairness among different statements.

The political affiliation of the source behind the statement is not taken into consideration when making fact-checking selection decisions. We diligently follow the methodology in order to secure consistency and fairness among different statements.

Possible conflicts of interests are stated on the spot, so that they would be cleared at the time the reader encounters them.

Here is the link to the methodology we use as we fact-check the statements of the public officials, others with influence over policy decisions, as well as political party press releases:

https://vistinomer.mk/metodologija/ (MK); https://truthmeter.mk/methodology/ (ENG)

Beside explaining the specifics and the features of every different type of fact check, this page explains the selection criteria of the content to be fact checked. It contains selection criteria for all three different types of fact checks (policymakers and policy influencers statements, political party election promises and social media/news media fact checks). All three fact checking sections on the web site are clearly marked as such. All the selection criteria are non-partisan and are in line with the IFCN's Code of Principles.    

Here is the link to our long standing and detailed methodology for the media fact checking we use throughout our fact checking projects at the Metamorphosis Foundation, ever since 2012 and update from time to time: http://proverkanafakti.mk/методологија/. Note: This document is also linked to the methodology page at the Vistinomer web site. 

Selection of the clams for fact-checking stems from the fact-checkers themselves, from our readers suggestions and from the editors. The go-no go decisions are made by the editors.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The explanation of the methodology used in fact-checks can be found on Vistinomer's website and contains strict rules on how to choose a topic and what will be taken into consideration. They choose topics based on their relevance in the political sphere and their effects on the daily lives of North Macedonians. 


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer and Metamorphosis are in no way affiliated with political parties, nor does it show support to political actors. Their stories are fact-based and reflect their strict methodology and ethics.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Metamorphosis Foundation is and has always been a non-partisan organization. Neither the Foundation, nor the employees have ever publicly supported any political party or any candidate for a political office during elections. The employees, Vistinomer staff included, do not involve themselves directly in political parties and advocacy organizations.

To insure the journalistic professionalism and integrity, Vistinomer team strictly follows these three acts/policy documents:

1. North Macedonia’s Foundations and Citizen Associations Law forbids NGO’s taking part in financing political parties, as well as engaging in electoral activities on behalf of political parties:

Chapter 4, Article 13 of the law says: “NGO’s cannot execute activities commensurate of those done by a political party, namely they cannot secure direct or indirect financing of a specific political party and influence the elections.” Elections influence is defined as “taking part in the elections and election campaigns on behalf of a specific political party and directly or indirectly financing an electoral campaign of a political party”.

2. Vistinomer team follows the Metamorphosis Foundation Integrity Policy (attached bellow) based on the organization's Code of Conduct, which is in turn adopted by the Managing Board.

The Article 2b of the Integrity Policy covers the issue of the organization's political independence and states the following:

"As non-partisan non-governmental organization, Metamorphosis Foundation shall maintain independence and not be aligned or affiliated with any political party, although it may share a common political or legislative cause within the limit of its mission, stated objectives and legal structure.

Metamorphosis’ advocacy efforts may include nonpartisan election-related activities. However, its resources may not be used for partisan political activities, including supporting or opposing a political party or organization and supporting or opposing candidates for public office."

Here is the page to which our organization's Integrity Policy (Политика на интегритет) is linked on the Vistinomer web site:

https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/

3. Vistinomer team also follows the Journalists Association of Macedonia Code of Ethics. This is a requirement for all the Vistinomer team members, as well as for the journalists working on all other Metamorphosis Foundation media projects.

The Article 14 of the Code of Ethics states the following:

"Reporting on political processes, especially elections, must be impartial, balanced and fair. The journalist must make professional distance from the political subjects."

Vistinomer web site at the Contact/Credits page provides links to both Metamorphosis Foundation's Integrity Policy and Journalist Association's Ethics Code in order to inform the audience about the professional obligations under which the Vistinomer team operates.

4. Vistinomer is registered at the register of the professional media, established by the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and is required to adopt and follow the strict Journalist Ethics Code.

Council of Media Ethics Page: https://semm.mk/en/

Association of Journalists of Macedonia: https://znm.org.mk/en/homepage/

Professional Internet Media Register Main Page (Vistinomer is 9th from the top in the first column): https://promedia.mk/main

Vistinomer page at the Professional Internet Media Register: https://promedia.mk/medium;id=caee5f81-078f-4cf8-a204-2986bbadb190

AJM Ethics Code: https://promedia.mk/codeofethics?lng=en

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Политика на интегрит... (479 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

There are numerous internal and external guidelines Vistinomer's team uses in its work in order to assure its non-partisanship and professional standards. 


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer cites its sources whenever possible and provides links to pages that contain evidence for the claims made in their stories.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer uses relevant sources in their articles.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

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.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer is a fact checking unit of the Metamorphosis Foundation, located in Skopje, North Macedonia. Please, find the already attached Metamorphosis Foundation registration/incorporation documents at the very beginning of this application (Criteria 1.1). 

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Vistinomer is a fact-checking unit of the Metamorphosis Foundation.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The ownership statement of Vistinomer is clearly stated at the web sites' contact/credits page at: https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/ 

The first paragraph after the contact form clearly states:

Macedonian version:

Порталот за јавна отчетност, транспарентност и проверка на факти „Вистиномер“ е издание на Фондацијата „Метаморфозис“.

English translation

Truthmeter – the public accountability, transparency and fact checking web site is published by the Metamorphosis Foundation.



Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Vistinomer's "contact" page contains information about their ownership and founders - Metamorphosis Foundation.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The contact/credits page clearly shows the role of the whole personnel at the web site starting from the editorial staff, support staff (technical and translations), as well as the fact checkers: https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/

As stated previously, at the request from our donors, some articles contain a disclaimer at the bottom further explaining roles and responsibilities (or lack there of) of the persons and institutions involved in the specific article. 

.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The names of the editorial team and their short biographies can be found on Vistinomer's contact page.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The names of the staff directly involved in content creation (editors and fact checkers) are linked to a short professional biography. https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Short biographies of the editorial team can be found on Vistinomer's "contact" page.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

1. The following disclaimer is published bellow every single article on the web site (in three languages - Macedonian, Albanian and English) to make it easier for the readers to communicate with the editorial team:

Macedonian version:

Сите коментари и забелешки поврзани со овој и другите написи на Вистиномер, барањата за корекции и појаснувања, како и предлозите за проверка на изјавите на политичарите и ветувањата на политичките партии, можете да ги доставите преку овој формулар (https://truthmeter.mk/contact/)

English translation:

All comments and remarks regarding this and other Vistinomer articles, correction and clarification requests as well as suggestions for fact-checking politicians’ statements and political parties’ promises can be submitted by using this form (https://truthmeter.mk/contact/)

2. After they follow the link, they have multitude of communication options such as the contact form, the e-mail addresses of the editorial staff and the management, as well as the office phone and the postal address. 

3. Our readers can also communicate with us through the chat function at our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/vistinomer/about/). At the same page, they can also use The Additional Contact Info field, which also includes our office phone and e-mail.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Users can use multiple options for communication with Vistinomer's editorial team - email, online form, phone or social media. These are all advertised throughout their web page.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Vistinomer's website has a separate category where they explain their methodology for each of the fact-check types in detail. 


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Based on the randomised sample, Vistinomer uses the same methodology in all fact-checking formats, and it follows the highest journalistic standards. They choose topics that are of high importance to the public and have a broader impact.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Vistinomer seems to be successful in preserving its non-partisanship, and uses the same merits, regardless of who made the claim or promise.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I haven't been able to find many such examples, and it would be good to contact stakeholders whenever there is a chance/need. Vistinomer uses direct quotes of people involved, but it would be good to adopt the practice of contacting them whenever it is possible as it could significantly change the perspective of the whole article.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our readers are encouraged to send us claims to fact-check in various ways.

1. First and foremost, bellow every article we publish on the web site we include the following sentence:

Macedonian version:

Сите коментари и забелешки поврзани со овој и другите написи на Вистиномер, барањата за корекции и појаснувања, како и предлозите за проверка на изјавите на политичарите и ветувањата на политичките партии, можете да ги доставите преку овој формулар

English translation:

All comments and remarks regarding this and other Vistinomer articles, correction and clarification requests as well as suggestions for fact-checking politicians’ statements and political parties’ promises can be submitted by using this form.

The link at the end of the disclaimer leads to the contact form (https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/) our readers can use to suggest statements or political party promises to fact check. This disclaimer is also published right bellow the contact form to inform the readers about its' intended use.


2. Our readers can and are encouraged to also send us suggestions for fact checks at our various social media properties.

Here is the About field at our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/vistinomer/about/) explaining how to use the Facebook page to send us suggestions:

Macedonian version:

Анализираме ветувања на партиите, изјави на политичарите, написи во медиумите и на соц. мрежи. Предлози за анализа испратете во инбокс.

English translation:

We analyze political party election promises, politicians' statements, media articles and social media content. Send your suggestions in the Inbox.

Further information are also included in the Additional Information field, where the purpose and the goals of the web site are explained. the Additional Contact Info field includes our office phone, e-mail, as well as chat box link for direct Messenger communication.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Vistinomer encourages its users to propose claims throughout their website, and also their social media.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer has a separate page titled Corrections and Clarifications: http://vistinomer.mk/korektsii-i-pojasnuvana/ 

This page contains step-by-step explanation how to submit a corrections/clarifications request, who will receive it and who will decide on the merit of the submitted corrections/clarifications request, how and where will such request be published (if needed), as well as how to obtain the Vistinomer team answer on the corrections/clarifications request by e-mail (if needed). 

This page is an excerpt of the Metamorphosis Foundation organization wide Corrections and Clarifications Policy. The page contains a link to the policy document, as well as Annex to the selection of articles of the Macedonian Constitution and laws upon whom this policy is created.

Metamorphosis Foundation organization wide Corrections and Clarifications Policy link: http://vistinomer.mk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Politika-za-korektsii-i-pojasnuvana.pdf

Metamorphosis Foundation organization wide Corrections and Clarifications Policy Annex link: http://vistinomer.mk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Aneks-1.pdf

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

'Correction policy' has been described on a separate page of Vistinomer's website. The deadline for submitting a request for corrections within 30 days from the date of publication seems reasonable and is in accordance with journalistic standards.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

While there are enough details about when and how the request is going to be assessed, it doesn't offer explanations about what type of complaints will be taken into account, and what type of evidence a person requesting correction needs to provide. This is something they should work on, and perhaps the experience they had [if possible they could use the examples too] could help them explain it a bit further to their readers.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our correction policy provides our readers with powerful tool to make their voices heard whenever they think a mistake has been made. We are ready and willing to admit our mistakes and publish corrections at any time and even for small infractions or unclear language. But, the trends in correcting the media in North Macedonia are not going in the direction of publishing corrections. 

We are witnessing instances where the wronged party doesn't ask for correction, but counterattacks using a different and friendly on-line media in order to gain more exposure for a web site that is close to them, and not allow more exposure for the web site that published the content supposedly or really requiring a correction or clarification. This is especially the case with the politicians, which have a lot of influence in the media and can publish their response somewhere else, especially if they think their response will get more exposure by pursuing such strategy.

Also, persons or organizations thinking they were wronged by an outlet they don't care much about, will certainly not ask for a correction or clarification, because they simply don't want to provide additional clicks to that outlet by opening a discussion. They would simply write and publish their answer on their personal social media profile, especially if they have higher following or even without higher following but knowing that the right people, those following them, those they care about, will more likely see their correction/clarification or their counterattack if it is published on their own page or profile.

Another option wronged or supposedly wronged parties have is to submit, or more likely threaten to submit their correction/clarification request directly to the donors or partners of the fact-checking outlet in order to create the so called "chilling effect" and discourage the fact-checkers pursuing further fact checks on future disinformation. For them, putting this types of pressure by threatening to inform the donors and maybe create a climate of distrust or possible conditions for the donors to withdraw funding might be more beneficial than seeking a correction.

Also, instead of seeking a correction or clarification if a person or an organization thinks they were wronged, they might simply publish a threat of legal action on the grounds of fact-checkers committing "censorship" if their content has been marked according to the guidelines of a social media partner, sending a threatening pre-law suit letter written by their lawyer or even using the media to call for a public protest in front of the fact-checking outlet's offices.

Many of the instances mentioned above did happen to us.

On the other hand, we do receive more and more requests by the media for a withdrawal of a given rating to a social media content, after corrections have been made to that social media content and the associated/shared web site article (according to the rules established by the social media partner). Requests like these, where the media are correcting their content and then ask for a withdrawal of a given rating happen more and more often, and are the most plentiful, when it comes to communications regarding our fact-checks, but those are not public.  


Here are three examples of a reaction/correction request submitted to Vistinomer last year (Note: please, scroll all the way down on the page!):

https://vistinomer.mk/klik-bejt-naslov-prikriva-deka-poraneshen-a-ne-aktuelen-ambasador-bara-ostavka-od-zaev/

https://vistinomer.mk/falsifikuvan-navoden-stav-na-doktor-de%d1%98an-doki%d1%9c-ko%d1%98-shto-ne-e-negov-se-shiri-na-fe%d1%98sbuk/

As you can see, both of them are not connected to the article published, but the grievances expressed are of a general nature or concern our status or projects, and contain inaccuracies (blaming us that we "delete" content from the social media, which is impossible). In both instances, we call for further information if there is anything specific they think might be untrue in our fact checks, but, we didn't get any response. These two accusatory comments are just a small snapshot of the many more such comments we get on the social media. 

In this third example we were told that a term we used to describe a piece of content might lower the level of untruthfulness of the disinformation. Live person was openly declared dead on the social media and there was an attempt to portray and hide the disinformation behind a thinly veiled satire we named "necrophiliac quasi-satire". The veracity of our fact check was not in question, but it was stated that this term does not belong here, because the content we fact checked is clearly a disinformation. As it can be seen from our response, we do not think that the use of this term can contribute to our fact check being misunderstood, since we clearly state in multiple occasions throughout our review that the content contains disinformation and was rated as such, but in order to strengthen the clarity of our fact check we have nothing against removing this expression and so we did.     

https://vistinomer.mk/nekro-satirichen-post-dezinformira-deka-antonio-miloshoski-zaginal-vo-soobrakjajka/ 



Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In all three examples, the request for change was made in the comments below the article, and Vistinomer made changes in one case. In all cases, they responded in a professional and transparent manner.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The Contact-Impressum (masthead) section contains  explicit information that Vistinomer is an IFCN Code of Principles Signatory.

https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/ 

A badge with the IFCN logo and information that Vistinomer is an IFCN Code of Principles signatory is displayed on every page of the website  within the right-hand column.

Other pages, including the correction page, reiterate this information. 

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
12-Nov-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer's website contains information about the International Fact-checking Network's Code of Ethics, and the IFCN's logo is displayed on all pages. Disclaimer explaining the procedure in case someone suspects that the Code had been violated, as well as the online form, can be found within their contact page.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
26-Oct-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Vistinomer is not a fact-checking unit of a media company, but part of a civil society organization/foundation