Rappler

Organization: Rappler
Applicant: Maria Ressa and Gemma B. Mendoza
Assessor: Ma. Diosa Labiste
Conclusion and recommendations
on 12-Nov-2019 (11 months ago)

Ma. Diosa Labiste wrote:

I recommend for the approval of Rappler's application to be a signatory of IFCN's Code of Principles.

on 12-Nov-2019 (11 months ago)

Ma. Diosa Labiste 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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Rappler is an independent news organization based in the Philippines which runs www.rappler.com. This is the link to Rappler’s organizational profile:

http://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/385-about-rappler

This is the link to Rappler’s certificate of incorporation with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1GjsaM5mnUidjgtcFVURDBwZnc/view?usp=sharing

Rappler Inc. was registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 25, 2011. However, on January 11, 2018, the SEC issued an order revoking Rappler’s registration for allegedly violating foreign ownership ban on media.

Rappler asked the Court of Appeals to annul the order. On July 26, 2018, while the Court of Appeals dismissed Rappler’s petition annulling the SEC order, it ruled that the commission should review its decision given the evidence presented by Rappler. The court thus remanded the case to SEC.

This case, as well as other allegations against Rappler, are tackled here:

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/214420-frequently-asked-questions-fact-check-project

Rappler also published an FAQ article on the SEC case. It can be accessed through this link

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/194165-frequently-asked-questions-rappler-sec-case

Rappler IQ is a subsection within Newsbreak, the investigative & research arm of Rappler (https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq). It is maintained primarily by a research unit which independently gathers public-interest imbued data and documents from primary sources for the purpose of storytelling as well as internal and external fact-checking and verification. Given the rise of misinformation and disinformation online, the team also actively monitors content that needs fact-checking, and produces fact-check explainer stories.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Rappler SEC.pdf (2 MB)
Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant is a registered news organization that runs a fact-checking section. It is facing a case for allegedly  violating foreign ownership ban on media. The application has supplied information about the issue.


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is the link to the Fact Check subsection:

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check

In addition to external fact-checks, the unit also proactively tries to help prevent misinformation or disinformation by publishing fast facts and explainers to help nuance and contextualize conversations around complex issues and concerns. These pieces usually tap into primary sources of information: documents, data, etc. This is critical in the Philippines where not all critical information is accessible online.

This is the link to Rappler IQ where we proactively publish fast facts, quick statistics, and explainers:

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant conducts regular fact-checking over the previous three months.


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Our published fact check methodology explains the scope of our fact-checking effort as well as the workflow in deciding what to prioritize. It may be accessed here:

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/174766-fact-check-methodology

As explained in the methodology, our fact-check efforts cover not just politics and governance issues but also other issues of public interest, particularly those that affect public safety. We focus on these:

1. Statements by key public officials given their potential to translate to policy. This includes statements that contradict previous statements they made;

2. Misleading statements or outright falsehoods by influential personalities which could affect public discourse or pose potential harm to the public;

3. False claims and hoaxes circulated en masse on social media which could affect public safety, have the potential to influence public opinion, or incite hate.

We also fact-check major public-interest events such as candidate debates during elections as well as the incumbent president’s annual state of the nation address. Some recent examples of claims that we fact checked are shown below:


Fact-checks on claims critical of the administration:

FALSE: Marawi war ‘triggered’ by ‘attempt to serve a warrant of arrest for drug trafficking’

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/241309-marawi-war-triggered-attempt-arrest-warrant-drug-trafficking

MISLEADING: ‘Midterm legislative achievement’ of Aquino, Duterte

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/224521-misleading-midterm-legislative-achievements-aquino-duterte-administrations

MISLEADING: Duterte did not pass any law when he was a congressman

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/226063-duterte-did-not-pass-any-law-when-he-was-congressman

FALSE: Revilla ‘eyes Culion, Palawan as next Bilibid Prison’

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/240339-revilla-eyes-culion-palawan-next-bilibid-prison

MISLEADING: ‘Rappler’ infographic compares Aquino-Duterte expenses

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/232887-infographic-comparing-aquino-duterte-administrations-expenses


Fact-checks of the President’s statements:

FALSE: Bong Go is the ‘first Chinese-FIlipino who became senator’

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/241128-bong-go-first-chinese-filipino-senator

LIST: False claims of Duterte, Panelo about legal issues on Trillanes amnesty

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/211760-duterte-panelo-false-claims-about-trillanes-amnesty

What you need to know about what Duterte said in 2018 SONA

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/208021-2018-sona-duterte-fact-check-context

FACT CHECK: Duterte's reaction to Canada helicopters deal taken out of context

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/204411-duterte-reaction-canada-helicopters-deal-context


Fact-checks of statements by public officials:

FALSE: 'Ouster plot' against President Duterte 'bared'

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/228877-ouster-plot-against-duterte-bared

FALSE: ‘Conspiracy is not a crime’ - Panelo

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/229433-conspiracy-is-not-crime-panelo

FALSE: Philippines is ‘the only country in Asia’ without death penalty

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/229801-philippines-only-country-asia-without-death-penalty


Fact-checks on hoax content circulated on social media:

FALSE: 2019 election ballots are ‘pre-shaded’ with UV ink

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/229978-2019-election-ballots-pre-shaded-uv-ink

FALSE: Exequiel Javier 'withdraws' congressional bid in Antique

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/230372-exequiel-javier-withdraws-candidacy-house-representatives-seat-antique

FALSE: Samira Gutoc gets zero vote in Mandaluyong

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/231227-samira-gutoc-gets-zero-votes-from-mandaluyong

FALSE: U.S. typhoon center warns Yolanda-like super typhoon to hit PH

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/237106-us-typhoon-center-warns-yolanda-like-super-typhoon-to-hit-philippines

MISLEADING: China executed ‘26 corrupt government officials’

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/231696-china-executed-corrupt-government-officials

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant covers a range of subjects and personalities for its fact-checks that revealed various forms of disinformation.


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Rappler has a strict policy on conflict of interest. This is not limited to political parties or advocacy organizations. In general, Rappler staff are required to disclose and avoid potential conflicts of interest situations, where loyalty to a person, group or institution could affect their ability to report about them truthfully and independently.

Rappler has a strict policy as well to reject gifts or privileges that could influence the independence of its newsgathering efforts or create public perception of compromised independence.

Staff are also advised to avoid taking part in activities or being part of organizations which could limit or compromise their independence and hurt their integrity.

These principles are enshrined Rappler’s Code of Ethics, which was initiated in 2012 and is updated from time to time as the need arises. The Code of Ethics is annexed to the Code of Conduct which every Rappler employee signs upon joining the organization.

Link to the Rappler Code of Ethics here:

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/3/folders/1Po1k9EM4e6H8zl5AqPQYe6_TbNjlddea

The Code of Ethics serves as the backbone of a daily operations manual that we maintain and update constantly as the need arises.

Through Move.PH, its civic engagement unit, Rappler works with citizen journalists in communities all over the country. Citizen journalists also sign the Movers’ Code of Ethics. In our workshops, we ask potential volunteers to adopt this code.

Link to the Movers’ Code of Ethics here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BARRjy8dgIOBnasbB2_gRJmoZzP-lLlX/view

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Movers Code of Ethic... (83 KB) picture_as_pdf Rappler Code of Ethi... (2 MB)
Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant maintained its independence in the last election. Its code of ethics has guidelines on how to prevent conflict of interest and partisanship.


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This rule is published as part of our fact check methodology:

“To the extent possible, we identify sources in stories we publish. Sources are informed that they are to be identified and quoted. There are three criteria for allowing anonymity of sources – track record of truthfulness, danger to life of a whistleblower or insider, and when the source’s information could be confirmed or verified by independent sources or documents. In such cases, we provide as much background as we can on unnamed sources without compromising their identity.”

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/174766-fact-check-methodology

In addition, whenever documents or stories cited in articles are available online, we either embed these source documents or hyperlink to the source material.

In our fact-check pieces, we describe to our audience the process we went through in order to arrive at a particular rating or conclusion and we either link to sources online or embed supporting documents.

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant has an established methodology for fact-checking and verification. 


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago)

Our article on frequently asked questions on Rappler’s fact check project lists Rappler’s ownership structure, including actual contributions of investors; the overall revenue of Rappler for 2018, as well as the institutions that fund the fact check project. The article can be viewed through this link:

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/214420-frequently-asked-questions-fact-check-project

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant's FAQ contains information on ownership and funding.


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This page contains the list of members of Rappler’s fact-check team and links to their individual biographies

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/214420-frequently-asked-questions-fact-check-project

This page links to the profile pages of members of the Rappler team and their individual biographies

http://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us

The individual background of previous and current members of the current board of directors are published here:

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/197192-rappler-2018-board-directors

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/6677-the-people-behind-rappler

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant's FAQ has a list of the members of its fact-checking section. Names of owners and investors were also included in the FAQ.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This page links to Rappler’s contact information. It is accessible through the website’s masthead and footer which is visible in all pages.

http://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/1557-contact-us

In addition, Rappler also responds to comments and messages posted or sent through its various social media pages. For the fact check project, we respond to comments via m.me/newsbreak.ph. 


Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The fact-checks, landing page and social media account of the applicant include information on where to send comments and request for fact-checking.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-checking and verification are ingrained in the news & data gathering and reporting workflow of the entire Rappler newsroom -- not just of the fact check unit.

To ensure that our reports and fact-checks are accurate, we employ internal accountability mechanisms as well as a multilevel process of verification built on the rich experience of our predecessor Newsbreak, an award-winning investigative news organization established in 2001.

To help educate the public on how we fact check, we have an article which details our fact check process and methodology. This is accessible here:

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/174766-fact-check-methodology

The different categories we use for rating claims are listed and explained in this link:

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/214420-frequently-asked-questions-fact-check-project

As a partner in Facebook’s Third Party Fact Checker Program, we have aligned our ratings with ratings prescribed by the program. Facebook’s ratings can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/help/publisher/182222309230722

We also conduct workshops where we explain this methodology and train volunteers how to fact check.

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant has explained its fact-checking methodology, available to anyone who access its fact-checking section or the fact-checking entries. The ratings used were also explained. 


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Readers can submit items to fact check via the email factcheck@rappler.com and by sending chat messages through Facebook messenger to the Facebook page of Newsbreak, our investigative and research unit. Below is the link to Newsbreak’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/newsbreak.ph

These instructions are posted on our Fact Check landing page and on our published Fact Check Methodology page:

https://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/about-us/174766-fact-check-methodology

It is also reiterated on the Fact Check section landing page and on each fact check piece to encourage people to submit claims for verification.

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check

Sample fact check article which includes the instructions on how to submit:

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/233508-false-maritime-law-expert-lied-about-satellite-image-of-recto-bank

In addition, Rappler has a full-time social media & community engagement team that actively engages and gathers feedback regarding our stories real-time through the comments sections, social media, and through email. Suggestions for fact-check coming from our readers are captured by this team which then turns such requests over to the editorial and research teams for review.

The team regularly publishes call outs for items to fact check via our various social media channels. Aside from generic call outs, the team also publishes call outs based on current events. Below are samples of both generic and specific call outs:

https://www.facebook.com/rapplerdotcom/photos/a.317154781638645/2865925833428181/?type=3&theater&ifg=1

https://www.facebook.com/310621318958658/posts/2714585188562247?_rdc=2&_rdr

We also have a Facebook group where volunteers who participated in our workshops help us find dubious content on social media that may require fact-checking. We also post our fact check call outs in this Facebook group.

This is the link to the Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/factsmatterph/ This group also includes representatives of other news organizations we are partnering with for the local collaborative fact check initiative. 

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant has conveyed to its audience a variety of ways they can participate in fact-checking, for example by submitting claims to be verified. 


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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.

Rappler
07-Oct-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In cases where errors are committed, we immediately acknowledge the mistake and issue an erratum directly on the page or platform where the error was published and alert readers and followers on social media of factual errors.

On top of that, we are one of the few newsgroups in the Philippines that maintains an updated Corrections Page, which lists factual errors and systems infractions.

Both the policy and the inventory of all key corrections made since 2012 are published on the corrections page. The policy applies to all stories published by Rappler and not just to the Fact Check initiative.

http://www.rappler.com/bulletin-board/41751-corrections

The Corrections page links to a list of monthly corrections pages which list down corrections for that month. Each monthly corrections page then links to the articles where the corrections were made.

Rappler’s full time community engagement team also scour our comments section and social media channels regularly for feedback on content that require correction.

Correction requests can likewise be sent via feedback@rappler.com.

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant has a clear public corrections policy that covers fact-checking and other editorial sections.


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.

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

Ma. Diosa Labiste Assessor
09-Nov-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant has a page that lists the corrections; it has also provided two examples -- January and March 2019.


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Ma. Diosa Labiste.