Vishvas News

Organization: MMI Online Limited
Applicant: Rajesh Upadhyay
Assessor: Kanchan Kaur
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

The applicant has provided the relevant documents to show that it is a fact-checking section of a registered firm. The applicant has regularly published fact-checks over the last three months, averaging to about one a month.

The applicant has explained it policy on checking claims. It has also assessed claims using similar standards, and it has not concentrated on one side of the topic it fact checks. The applicant has mentioned a non partisanship policy and provided a copy of the contract for their employees where such non-partisanship is a required condition. It has also provided a copy of the internal editorial policy.

Key sources are mostly always clearly referenced and linked in a manner that readers can replicate the fact-check. The applicant has shared a description of its sourcing policy.

The applicant lists its owner group, has provided the balance sheet of the owner company, and provided details on its funding.

The names of the key people in the organisation are clearly listed, with their bios and roles.

The applicant invites readers to reach out and the Contact Us page is clearly accessible.

The applicant's website provides an explanation of it its methodology.

The applicant's website provides information on how readers can send claims. It has provided various methods to send these claims.

The applicant's correction policy is clearly articulated and it has provided two examples of corrections.

The application may be accepted.  


Conclusion and recommendations
on 17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago)

Kanchan Kaur wrote:

The applicant has provided the relevant documents to show that it is a fact-checking division of a media organization which is a registered firm. It has regularly published fact-checks over the last three months, averaging to about one a week.

The applicant has explained it policy on checking claims. It has also assessed claims using similar standards. The applicant has mentioned a non-partisanship policy. It would help, however, for the applicant to provide a copy of the contract for their employees where such non-partisanship is a required condition. It would also help to have a copy of the internal editorial policy.

Key sources are mostly always clearly referenced and linked in a manner that readers can replicate the fact-check. The applicant has shared a description of its sourcing policy.

The applicant lists its owner group, but does not provide any further details on funding. It has also provided the balance sheet of the owner company, but would do well to provide some details on how this section is funded.

The names of the key people in the organisation are clearly listed, with their bios and roles.

The applicant invites readers to reach out with an invitation at the end of each fact-check; the Contact Us page is clearly accessible. The applicant's website provides an explanation of its methodology, and information on how readers can send claims. It might help for the applicant to provide information on the frequency of reader-submitted fact-checks.

The applicant's correction policy is clearly articulated. The applicant provided two examples of corrections. 

on 17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago)

Kanchan Kaur 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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago)

Vishvasnews.com is an initiative of MMI Online Limited. It is managed by a dedicated editorial team of Vishvas News.

It deals with issues which are in the public domain. Busting fake news, that is capable of creating social imbalance and influence the thoughts of general public, is the main agenda of Vishvas News. The basic objective of news dissemination is to ensure that the people know what is happening and understand the possible causes so they can form their own opinions and arrive at their own conclusions.

We publish news after checking the authenticity on the basis of the facts without any fear or favour. We make our journalism more insightful, meaningful and essential to the daily lives of the people.

With the approval from the Board of Directors of the company, a Fact Check Team within the company (letter attached), has been formed. This Team is independent of the other editorial operations of the Company and is engaged in fact checking and busting misinformation in the mainstream and social media.

The Team reports directly to the Editor in Chief of the Company.

Attachments – 1). Certificate of Incorporation of the MMI Online Limited.

2). Setting up of Fact Check Team within MMI Online Limited.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf BR MMI.PDF (335 KB) picture_as_pdf Certificate of Incor... (357 KB)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has provided the relevant documents to show that it is a registered firm and that it has a fact-checking section. 


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

Criterion 1b
Archive
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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has regularly published fact-checks over the last three months, averaging to about one a month. 


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

1. http://vishvasnews.com/editors-pick/there-is-no-melamine-in-your-milk/

2. http://vishvasnews.com/editors-pick/fake-photo-of-shivraj-singh-seat-budhni/

3. http://vishvasnews.com/editors-pick/this-website-claiming-to-allot-lpg-distributorships-is-fake/

4. http://vishvasnews.com/editors-pick/kashmiri-fire-video-going-viral-in-pakistan-is-fake/

5. http://vishvasnews.com/world/truth-about-the-picture-of-allahabad-kumbh-2019/

6. http://vishvasnews.com/politics/poora-sach-did-modi-make-a-kid-say-rahul-gandhi-pappu-hai/

7. http://vishvasnews.com/politics/rahul-gandhi-speech-on-raising-sun-from-the-west-was-fake-2/

8. http://vishvasnews.com/politics/the-scene-from-a-bhojpuri-movie-is-being-shared-in-wrong-context/

9. http://vishvasnews.com/politics/woman-burning-has-nothing-to-do-with-rss/

10. http://vishvasnews.com/world/truth-of-statue-of-unity-is-visible-from-space/ 

At Vishvas, we seek items to fact check based on whether the claim is newsworthy and would help to give a better understanding of complex issues. We generally take the trending fake news story of the moment and fact check requests from our readers and attempt to debunk them. To identify these stories, we sieve the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp) thoroughly and keep a tab on our own handles for any fact check suggestion from our readers. To maintain a rational standard across fact checks, we follow the same process in all stories. We doubt everything that is served to us and perform basic fact checking for every alert in the social media feed. We make sure that none of our stories are politically inclined, we stay away from giving any opinion. We let the proof and evidence speak for itself. We make sure that the evidence attached in a story are self-explanatory. We let our readers draw their own conclusions.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has explained it policy on checking claims. It has also assessed claims using similar standards, and it has not concentrated on one side of the topic it fact checks. 


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Many stringent standards are ensured by the observance of Vishvas’ comprehensive Editorial Policy that lays down the code of conduct and guidelines for its journalists. Vishvas stands by its ethical stand of ‘no Influencers policy’ which ensures that its stories are not influenced by any external bias. No one working in Vishvas engages in partisan political activity and never make any contributions to candidates or advocacy organizations.

http://vishvasnews.com/nonpartisanship-policy/ 

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Copy of Contract.pdf (4 MB) picture_as_pdf JNM_MMI_Work_Ethics... (2 MB) picture_as_pdf Copy of Contract.pdf (4 MB) picture_as_pdf JNM_MMI_Work_Ethics... (2 MB)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The applicant has mentioned a non partisanship policy. It would help, however, for the applicant to provide a copy of the contract for their employees where such non-partisanship is a required condition. It would also help to have a copy of the internal editorial policy. 

-----------------------------

The applicant has subsequently provided a copy of the contract for their employees, as well as a copy of the internal editorial policy. 


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Vishvas writes its stories in an explanatory manner so that the readers can debunk the story on their own and there is no scope of influencing the fact check in any way. All the proofs are attached in the story and the process is explained in detail.

Sources are always provided so that readers can follow the fact-checking process from tip to toe. This includes posting and imbedding tweets, links, pictures, screen grabs of reports, and any other relevant elements. We identify sources in full, including a link to the source.

As the first step, we verify the source of the information or news. Once a claim is established, we consider it the most important step to find reliable sources of evidence to check the claim against. We rely on multiple sources to write our fact checks. If we are unable to verify it, we do not publish the news or information. The news source could be newspaper articles, Youtube links of news shows, tweets, Facebook pages. In the age of the Internet, some people pass off other organizations’ coverage as their own facts, which can lead to serious problems. We therefore take this as our responsibility to only serve the information that is verified and authentic. The source is given full credit for news published on the site. For instance – ANI/PTI/IANS. The image source is also given full credit. Every source we refer to is hyperlinked or attributed in the story.

Political parties, leaders, lawyers, and other professionals have presence on Facebook and other social media sites. We follow them or include them in our contacts list. While adding influential persons of the society we maintain that presence only in order to monitor the news feeds and nothing else; we do not communicate with them on that platform.

We are sensitive to the fact that different people have diverse viewpoints. If somebody has denied any allegations then this point is also included in the article. It is essential to make the effort to ensure that all reporting is impartial. The sole aim of ‘Vishvas’ is to ensure that consistent and unbiased news is published.

We ensure that data used in charts and infographic is accurate. We check the data (numbers) carefully so that our readers get the correct information. While covering political statements, we check the same at every level possible. It is our moral responsibility to provide our readers and followers full and complete news.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Key sources are mostly always clearly referenced and linked in a manner that readers can replicate the fact-check. The applicant has shared a description of its sourcing policy. 


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The Vishvas News is working under the banner of ‘MMI Online Limited’ (CIN no. U72300UP2008PLC036242 ) a legal entity incorporated under Company’s Act of India and funded by the company’s promoters. You can view MMI Online Limited most recent financial disclosure i.e. Balance sheet for Financial Year 2018-2019 (attached).

Vishvas News does not accept donations from Political Parties, contested or elected candidate of any party and Individual.   

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf MMI_BALANCE SHEET_FY... (568 KB) picture_as_pdf Vishvas Funding.pdf (202 KB)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

The applicant lists its owner group, but does not provide any further details on funding. It has also provided the balance sheet of the owner company, but would do well to provide some details on this section is funded. 

______________

The applicant has since provided details on the funding. 


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

Criterion 4b
Staff
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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The names of the key people in the organisation are clearly listed, with their bios and roles. 


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant invites readers to reach out. Each fact-check has the invitation at the end of it, and the Contact Us page is clearly accessible.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant's website provides an explanation of it its methodology. 


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago)

There are multiple ways through which the readers can submit claims to fact-check and provide us feedback about our stories. In every story, in the end, there is a dedicated leave a reply section for submitting feedback. Also, at the bottom of every story, there is our email contact@vishvasnews.com

and a dedicated WhatsApp No. 9205270923 through which the readers can reach us. All these inputs from the readers are regularly monitored.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant's website provides information on how readers can send claims. It has provided various methods to send these claims. It might help for the applicant to provide information on the frequency of reader-submitted fact-checks. 


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Vishvas never takes a step back from accepting its mistakes. We have many open platforms where the readers can get back to us with any correction, they may need in the content published. We welcome suggestions and rectifications from our readers which we receive in the form of whatsapp messages, emails, comments and phone calls. In addition to this, we also have an internal quality control team that re-checks everything that goes live on the site neutrally.

We have a Fact Check Alert number for whatsapp +91-9205270923 and email id: contact@vishvasnews.com. This number and email id are mentioned at the end of every story so that it’s feasible for the reader to easily point out anything they may find incorrect. We never fail to acknowledge our mistakes and respond when brought to our notice.

Team Vishvas rectifies every mistake as quickly as possible. When we receive any complaint regarding the inaccuracy of our content, we immediately put it on hold and determine the facts. Once the facts have been examined, we take a considered decision and appropriately respond to the feedback. Depending on the authenticity and magnitude of the mistake/error, we remove/edit the published information or duly inform the reader in case the identified error does not qualify as a mistake with an explanation.

If a major mistake is found in a copy, we republish it with the correct version and duly give credit to the person who identified the error and makes it a point to mention it in the copy.

http://vishvasnews.com/correction-policy/ 

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant's correction policy is clearly articulated. 


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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

MMI Online Limited
30-Nov-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The below mentioned story was shared with us by Facebook team for fact check. We had checked the story credentials and found them to be misinformed. We had done the fact check of the story and posted it on our flagship product www.jagran.com.

https://www.jagran.com/football/headlines-video-is-fake-in-which-brazil-team-welcome-with-stones-and-eggs-18179729.html 

Below is the sample of story which was reported by our user as fake and we did a fact check and updated the correct story.

Before- https://www.jagran.com/bihar/muzaffarpur-mp-pappu-yadav-crying-after-bharat-bandh-supporters-attack-on-his-car-and-group-18395493.html

After – https://www.jagran.com/bihar/patna-city-exposure-of-crying-video-of-mp-pappu-yadav-during-bharat-bandh-18399130.html

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
17-Dec-2018 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant provided two examples of corrections. However, the applicant ought to provide these examples in the pubic correction page, where it only mentions a policy.


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.