Décrypteurs

Organization: Radio-Canada
Applicant: Jeff Yates
Assessor: Margot Susca
Conclusion and recommendations
on 12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago)

Margot Susca wrote:

For parts of this assessment the links to the site take you to information in French so I used Google Translate for a number of the links where that was an issue. (The request for an assessment of Radio Canada said the group's primary language is English.) I note this for transparency and not because I felt it was a barrier to my assessment. 

Radio Canada's fact check site, in French called DÉCRYPTEURS, says: "Our team tracks the false information that spreads on social networks. His mission? Combat misinformation and highlight the darkest corners of the web. To contact us: decryptors@radio-canada.ca." Their work is relatively new though its primary fact checker, Jeff Yates, has been working in this area for a few years, based on the information provided. 

I have marked it as Fully Compliant in all areas, and I note that the work especially seems rooted in journalistic traditions of fairness and transparency. The site notes: "Transparency. When we use a source on the web as part of an audit, we include a link to that source for the user to view. Ditto for a tool that the reader can not consult himself: we then include, as far as possible, a screenshot. When we interview a guest, we explain why their expertise is relevant to the subject. We detail as much as possible how we found the information we present. Ideally, the reader will be able to read our article and recreate our own way by reproducing our procedure."

on 12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago)

Margot Susca 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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Décrypteurs is Radio-Canada's fact-checking and online disinformation unit. It was officially launched on May 28th, 2019, but we have been producing articles since February. In addition I (Jeff Yates) have been producing fact-checking articles for Radio-Canada since February 2017. Radio-Canada is Canada's public broadcaster. For the moment, the project includes two journalists, Jeff Yates and Bouchra Ouatik. It is run by Jonathan Trudel. 

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant. 


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago)

You may find our fact-checks at this link, under the section «Nos vérifications».


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/decrypteurs


You may also find previous fact-checks by Jeff Yates (under the name «Inspecteur viral») here:


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/jeffyates

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Please note that the site officially is <3 months old, but has been regularly publishing fact checks in that time on a range of subjects. 


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

We have a section of our site which explains our methodology and how we work: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/decrypteurs/en-vedette/document/nouvelles/article/1166831/decrypteurs-methodologie-verifications-faits-desinformation


In essence, we look at two main criteria before publishing a fact-check. The first is virality. We don't want to give undue visibility to something that has not been widely shared on social media. The second is potential social impact. If a piece of fake news contains a potential risk for people's health, someone's reputation, the integrity of an election or contains a scam, for example, we will take this into account. We carefully weigh both of these factors to ensure that our fact-checks are responsible and useful.


Below are ten recent articles by our team:


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/decrypteurs/verifications/document/nouvelles/article/1158344/message-facebook-panne-actif-partage-fausse-nouvelle


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/decrypteurs/verifications/document/nouvelles/article/1157889/article-1983-journal-quebec-climat-scientifiques-neige-2000-souvenir


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/decrypteurs/verifications/document/nouvelles/article/1163789/cafes-petit-maghreb-interdits-femmes-verification-faux


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/decrypteurs/verifications/document/nouvelles/article/1163567/valerie-plante-manifestation-projet-loi-21-adil-charkaoui-montreal-buenos-aires


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1172067/maire-dorval-porc-cantines-musulmans-folklore


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1150215/navire-croisiere-photo-pollution-uruguay-boue


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1147252/glaciers-10-ans-challenge-2008-2009-2018-2019-evolution-changements-climatiques


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1145624/riz-dana-pakistan-aliment-infecte-facebook-fausse-nouvelle


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1137016/photos-coyotes-morts-canada-goose-chasse-trappe


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1136017/ecofuel-etudiant-universite-montreal-economiseur-essence-carburant-automobile-tech-scan

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant. 


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Radio-Canada has extremely stringent policies regarding journalistic integrity. Journalists may not participate in any partisan activities. You may find more information here: 

https://cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/vision/governance/journalistic-standards-and-practices

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant. Follows Radio Canada's exemplary ethical standards. 

Files Attached
Screen Shot 2019-06-... (863 KB)
done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

All articles must follow Radio-Canada's Standards and practices (link in previous section). We strive to allow readers to reproduce our reporting. Every claim in our articles is accompanied by a link. We also include, when appropriate, screen grabs or archived websites so readers can see them for themselves. As detailed in our methodology, we try to give precedence to reader suggestions.

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant. It is clear that Radio Canada's fact check arm has considered not just what to fact check but also how to do so with an emphasis on the importance to the public. 


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Radio-Canada is Canada's public broadcaster. It is financed in part by the Canadian government, but it is editorially independant. This independence is enshrined, by law, in the Canadian Broadcasting Act (1991). More details here: 

https://cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/vision/governance/programming-policies/programming-mandate

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant. 


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant. Translated to English from the site: "Decryptors is the CBC team fighting against misinformation. Its mission: to help citizens unravel the true and false on social networks, analyze the mechanisms that contribute to the spread of false news (fake news) and highlight some emerging web phenomena. This is who we are and how we work."


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Our contact info is on our splash page: 


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/decrypteurs


We also have a Facebook group:


https://www.facebook.com/groups/decrypteurs/

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant. 


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant in how it explains WHY it chooses some stories, but I would urge the staff to consider explaining HOW it goes about its actual process of fact checking claims. Will it use original source material? Experts? I think the section could be improved as it continues its work. 


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Readers may contact us on our splash page: 


https://ici.radio-canada.ca/decrypteurs


Or in our Facebook group:


https://www.facebook.com/groups/decrypteurs/


We also invite readers to contact us directly on social media.

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fully compliant. It appears to put a focus on reader claims and questions. 


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago)

A detailed section on corrections is included in Radio-Canada's standards and practices:


https://cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/vision/governance/journalistic-standards-and-practices

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Full compliant. 


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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

Radio-Canada
31-May-2019 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

We have not had any instances of corrections in the past year. An article I (Jeff Yates) wrote in partnership with the CBC necessitted a minor quote correction. You can see how it was handled here:


https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/how-a-suspected-iran-based-campaign-tried-to-get-canadian-media-to-spread-fake-news-1.5143913

Margot Susca Assessor
12-Jun-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Two examples were not provided, but the applicant explained why. 


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 7: Eligibility to be a signatory

Criterion 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.

Criterion 1.2
The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.

Criterion 1.3
The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the three months prior to the date of application.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 1.5
The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.

Criterion 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.

Section 8: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2.1
The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 9: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 10: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 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).

Criterion 4.2
Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 4.5
The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Section 11: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5.1
The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 12: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.