Digiteye India

Organization: Soft Media Hub LLP
Applicant: Nagesh Narayana
Assessor: Kanchan Kaur
Conclusion and recommendations
on 10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago)

Kanchan Kaur wrote:

The applicant is a fact-checking initiative of a media company and has provided relevant documentation to prove so. It publishes fact checks quite regularly. It has published more than one report a week over the previous three months.

The applicant fact checks claims made by all relevant sides. The checks cover a variety of subjects and do not concentrate on one side of the topic. The applicant has clear policies preventing staff from involvement in advocacy or politics. It has shared a non-partisan ship agreement that employees have to sign. It has a clear non-partisanship policy and has not supported any candidate or party.

The applicant clearly references key sources and makes an effort to ensure that readers can replicate the fact-checks themselves. It has explained how it finds and uses sources for its fact-checking.

The applicant has made a statement about its funding. However, not too many details are available. It says that the financial statement of the year has not been finalised, yet. All authors and members of the editorial staff are clearly listed with their biographies.

The applicant has a clear contact page which helps public reach out to them. The page has an email id, a twitter handle and a WhatsApp number through which the public can reach the applicant with claims to check. However, it might help for the applicant to invite readers to send claims more prominently, similar to the Subscribe button it has on every page.

The applicant provides a clear and detailed explanation of its methodology.

The applicant's website has a clear, transparent explanation of its corrections policy. It clearly explains how mistakes are corrected and informs the public about the corrections. The applicant also provides a clear time frame for correcting mistakes.

The applicant has provided at least two examples of corrections handled by it. The applicant does not have a public page listing all corrections, but it makes it quite clear when a correction is published.

on 10-Mar-2019 (8 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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Digiteye India is an independent and full-fledged fact-checking initiative of Softmediahub LLP, a limited liability partnership company, incorporated in October 2014 as a news media consultancy. Digiteye India Initiative was formally launched in November 2018. See the link below:

https://digiteye.in/our-company/

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf SOFT MEDIA REGN.pdf (235 KB) picture_as_pdf LLP-document.pdf (6 MB)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago)

The applicant has provided necessary documentation for its parent company and is a fact-checking initiative of that company.


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago)

Our fact-checking initiative Digiteye India has remained focused on publishing stories that fact check claims made on public platforms or social media. Please refer to these four links for a list of stories/archives published in the previous three months.

https://digiteye.in

https://digiteye.in/2018/11/

https://digiteye.in/2018/12/

https://digiteye.in/2019/01/

https://digiteye.in/2019/02/

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant publishes fact checks quite regularly. It has published more than one report a week over the previous three months. 


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

We maintain coherent standards across fact checks by basing our topic selection on whatever items are trending with inherent aim to mislead the public against or in favour of a particular political party or religious entity, or any other qualifier. We do not make any judgment of our own, whether they merit coverage based on their perceived importance, degree of controversy or superficiality.

Digiteye India keeps an eye on regular editorial news and messages in the mainstream media and social media platforms. Whenever there is a claim made by the claimant, we take it up for fact-checking without any bias or political affinity. The process is strictly followed for every fact check and all the claims, whether outrageous or subtle, are taken up for scrutiny. We strive to examine, explain and place all the facts and counter-facts before the reader, so he can see the truth.

Here's a list of 10 fact checks published by us in the last three months:

10 fact-checked stories in the last 3 months:

• Karnataka CM quote on Pulwama attack tweaked by Times Now? Fact Check

 https://digiteye.in/karnataka-cm-quote-on-pulwama-attack-tweaked-by-times-now-fact-check/

• Did Janasena Party give away 1000 smartphones to party workers? Fact Check

https://digiteye.in/did-janasena-party-give-away-1000-smartphones-to-party-workers-fact-check/

• Adani exports power to Pakistan? Fake Twitter message shared by many

https://digiteye.in/adani-exports-power-to-pakistan-fake-twitter-message-shared-by-many/

• Priyanka Gandhi UP rally showcases Telangana poll picture from video

https://digiteye.in/priyanka-gandhi-up-rally-shows-telangana-poll-picture-in-social-media/

• Fake Bengali video goes viral, wrongly cited by Hindu group

https://digiteye.in/fake-bengali-video-goes-viral-instigating-islamophobia-fact-check/

• Did Kapil Sibal seek UK courts to postpone Mallya’s extradition?

https://digiteye.in/did-kapil-sibal-seek-uk-courts-to-postpone-mallyas-extradition/

• Tricolour on iconic monuments worldwide on R-Day? What’s the fact?

https://digiteye.in/tricolour-on-iconic-monuments-worldwide-on-r-day-whats-the-fact/

• Did Narendra Modi refer Sonia Gandhi as the widow of Congress? What's the truth?

https://digiteye.in/did-narendra-modi-refer-sonia-gandhi-as-the-widow-of-congress-whats-the-truth/

• Did BJP leader Sasikala enter Sabarimala temple at the age of 49? Here’s the truth

https://digiteye.in/did-bjp-leader-sasikala-enter-sabarimala-temple-at-the-age-of-49-heres-the-truth/

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant fact checks claims made by all relevant sides. The checks cover a variety of subjects and do not concentrate on one side of the topic. 


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

 https://digiteye.in/code-of-principles/

Digiteye India strictly follows the objectives of fair journalism. We recognise the fact that every team member will have own political views, but there is a clear and mandatory requirement to be objective and independent while writing a fact check story. We ensure that every person who joins us keeps such personal biases out of influencing every story.

Members and editorial staff of Digiteye India (https://Digiteye.in) are precluded from donating to or participating in political campaigns, political party activities, or political advocacy organizations. We make it explicit in our offer letter and also obtain their consent to our Non-Partisan Agreement at the time of joining the organisation, which we intend to renew annually. Any editorial staff member can be reached via e-mail through the Contact links or the feedback form on every page of the site.

To ensure that every fact is supported by hard and empirical evidence, each story goes through several eyes from the sub-editor to senior editor. The entire team keeps an eye on all the stories put out to avoid the risk of any individual point of view finding its place in the story.

We strive to ensure that the team members are not affiliated with any political party or advocacy organisation to avoid any potential conflict of interest. The work done over the last five months shows that we have covered all the stories cutting across party lines, religion or social segments.  

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Non-Partisan agreeme... (747 KB)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant has clear policies preventing staff from involvement in advocacy or politics. It has shared a non-partisan ship agreement that employees have to sign. It has a clear non-partisanship policy and has not supported any candidate or party. 


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

 https://digiteye.in/methodology/

We follow established online journalism norms by providing all links to sources, images and we embed social media sources or videos besides providing the screen shots in our fact-checking process. Here's how we ensure it:

For sourcing, Digiteye India team keeps a constant tab on social and mainstream media for incorrect or tweaked information or news to mislead people. The main criteria for fact-checking a story is its potential damage and reach, if left unchecked. However, WE REFRAIN FROM TRIVIAL ENTERTAINMENT OR SATIRE-BASED STORIES for fact-checking.

We take up political, social and religious claims and criticisms made by leaders, politicians and political parties, institutions and officials for fact-checking. Monitoring provocative hashtags on social media to influence public opinion takes centre-stage for fact checking, especially in the current election year.

Over a period, we have compiled a list of social media suspects on Facebook Pages, websites and Twitter accounts, which we follow constantly check. Based on our team expertise and capacity, we prioritize the number of fact checks we take up daily.

We strive to provide all the links to debunk the claims made, thus, enabling our readers to verify the information for themselves. Whenever we find the information insufficient, we refrain from passing on any conclusive judgment and make it clear.

We encourage our readers to send us messages and claims that may have raised their eyebrows and need to be fact-checked. We have provided a contact form on every story for the purpose. In addition, we have an exclusive WhatsApp hotline number (7483881081) where readers can send us links to messages that are being shared on the social media.

We follow globally acknowledged tools of verification for fact-checking such as Google search, Google Reverse Image Search, InVid Verification tool, video inspection tools, Google Earth and Google Maps. Depending on the story, we use multiple tools of fact-checking and explain the process for our readers, so they can replicate the fact-checking and also be aware of such false information in the future.

All our articles follow three major components -- source, methodology and rating. Under source, we clearly state where the narrative has been published and explain the need to fact-check. Under methodology, we apply the tools of fact checking such as Google Reverse Image search or video clipping among others to disprove it or authenticate it as true, depending upon the fact checking results.

Rating is another essential part of our stories to enable our readers to see that not every claim we fact checked is false but there is a degree of difference. For this purpose, we have introduced a rating system using question marks for each fact-checked story.

To enable our readers to easily fact check themselves, we have ensured that all the links of images, tweets, web pages and messages are provided and also stored in online archive www.archive.is. Even if we fail to prove or disprove a claim, we say it openly. We update stories whenever we get more evidence and re-publish them and duly share it on our social media platforms, besides publishing changes on our Corrections Page ( https://digiteye.in/corrections ). 

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant clearly references key sources and makes an effort to ensure that readers can replicate the fact-checks themselves. It has explained how it finds and uses sources for its fact-checking. 


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago)

https://digiteye.in/our-company/

Self-funded by the Directors of Softmedia Hub LLP, who are professionals in the same field of news coverage and computer software, respectively. Softmedia Hub LLP has NOT taken any outside funding for supporting its Digiteye India operations. More details on expenditure will be shared once the financial year statement is finalized.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf IT Ack FY 2017-18.pd... (59 KB) picture_as_pdf TAN.pdf (71 KB)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant has made a statement about its funding. However, not too many details are available. It says that the financial statement of the year has not been finalised, yet. 


done 4a marked as Partially 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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago)

https://digiteye.in/our-team/

For details on all our team members and contributors, please refer to the link given above.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

All authors and members of the editorial staff are clearly listed with their biographies. 


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

 https://digiteye.in/contact-us/

All contact details are clearly listed at the link given above with a helpline, email address and other social media details, where readers can get in touch with us.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant has a clear contact page which helps public reach out to them. The page has an email id, a twitter handle and a WhatsApp number through which the public can reach the applicant with claims to check. 


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant provides a clear and detailed explanation of 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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

 https://digiteye.in/contact-us/

We run a helpline on WhatsApp and a number has been provided in the ‘About Us’ and 'Contact-us' sections of the website. We also regularly publicise the existence of our helpline on Twitter and invite our readers to send us images, videos and claims for scrutiny and publish fact check stories.

Please see this link https://www.digiteye.in/contact-us

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The Contact Us page of the applicant has a detailed explanation on how readers can send claims to fact-check. It provides an email address, a twitter handle and a Whats App number. However, it might help for the applicant to invite readers to send claims more prominently, similar to the Subscribe button it has on every page. 


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

 https://digiteye.in/corrections/

Please refer to our Corrections page at the above link. We have a clear policy to carry out corrections whenever we are found wrong. We are open to scrutiny and stand corrected and publish it openly on any story. We inform our readers immediately about the correction on our social media platforms. We are always open to any feedback and criticism and do not hesitate to correct our stories.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant's website has a clear, transparent explanation of its corrections policy. It clearly explains how mistakes are corrected and informs the public about the corrections. The applicant also provides a clear time frame for correcting mistakes. 


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.

Soft Media Hub LLP
28-Feb-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

2 Examples of Corrections undertaken:

1. First version of the story headline: 'Truth given Fake News cover up, Chandrababu Naidu trolled for it'

NOTE: When this story was taken up for fact-checking, the evidence available was made to disappear and a new planque revealing the name of the Unity Statue in Telugu language was taken as a source. A couple of days later, when original evidence appearing on the same social media platform given out by the officials of the concerned state, we have corrected the story and made it clear to our readers on the page.

Corrected Version:

https://digiteye.in/truth-given-fake-news-cover-up-chandrababu-naidu-trolled/

2. First report:

NOTE: Initially, the term advertiser and brand was not distinguished and the first report went out stating that BJP was the top TV advertiser. But when it was pointed out in social media, we have changed our story and released another corrected version, stating clearly that the old version has a factual error. We have made it clear in our original story as well with a link to the new corrected story.

Corrected news report:

https://digiteye.in/bjp-not-top-advertiser-but-top-brand-in-tv-ads-whats-the-truth/

Links on social media (Twitter) notifications c:an be seen here:

 https://twitter.com/eye_digit

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
10-Mar-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant has provided at least two examples of corrections handled by it. The applicant does not have a public page listing all corrections, but it makes it quite clear when a correction is published.


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.