Stopfake.org

Organization: StopFake.org
Applicant: Alla Radnyuk
Assessor: Oleg Khomenok
Conclusion and recommendations
on 07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago)

Oleg Khomenok wrote:

StopFake is recommended to be accepted with edits.

Three suggestions:

1) Put the relationship with Media Reform Center on the site so it will be clear which NGO is behind the site.

2) Publish annual revenue breaking by donors and major spending itemisation.

3) Publish 2018 and 2019 annual reports online.

 

on 07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago)

Oleg Khomenok 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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

On March 2, 2014 Kyiv Mohyla Journalism School lecturers, graduates and students along with the KMA Digital Future of Journalism project launched the Stopfake.org fact checking site. Stopfake is a flagship project of the non­governmental organization “Media Reforms Center” located in Ukraine. Journalists, editors, IT specialists, translators, all those who cared about the future of Ukraine during this dangerous time of the annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine joined the project. Initially the goal of the project was to verify and refute disinformation and propaganda about events in Ukraine being circulated in the media. Eventually the project grew into an information hub where we examine and analyze all aspects of Kremlin propaganda. In our website on "About us" menu we explaine who we are in details: https://www.stopfake.org/ru/o-nas/; Also at the bottom of the site you can click to the link to read our detailed 2016-2017 Report.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago)

StopFake is run by Ukrainian NGO "Media Reform Center" (MRC) and fact-checking is major activity of this NGO. Yet the MRC is not noticed in the About us page and on the other pages of the site.



done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The site has extended archive and there are 3-4 stories per week published.


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

1. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-ukrainskij-samolet-sbili-iz-za-iranskih-fizikov-yadershhikov-na-bortu/

2. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-ssha-ne-predostavila-sputnikovye-snimki-sledstviyu-po-delu-mh17/

3. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/ogoltelaya-propaganda-top-10-samyh-nelepyh-fejkov-telekanala-zvezda/

4. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-rossiya-vernula-ukraine-voennye-korabli-po-svoej-dobroj-voli/

5. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-ukraina-otkazalis-ot-minskih-soglashenij-i-gotovit-okkupatsiyu-donbassa/

6. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-v-ukrainu-vozvrashhaetsya-fashizm/

7. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-naftogaz-sryvaet-peregovory-s-gazpromom-i-shantazhiruet-rossiyu/

8. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-parlament-niderlandov-trebuet-priznat-vinu-ukrainy-v-krushenii-mh17/

9. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-ukraina-prevratit-zemlyu-v-tovar-i-prodast-ee-v-obmen-na-ocherednoj-milliard-ot-mvf/

10. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/manipulyatsiya-v-ukraine-vooruzhayut-babushek-pulemetami-chtoby-zashhititsya-ot-rossii/

The StopFake team was among the first to adapt the already existing fact-checking principles to tackle disinformation and build resilience against disinformation through what we call MAD (monitoring, archiving and debunking). In the last 5 years StopFake has accumulated a wealth of experience, collecting examples of Russian disinformation, mapping the distribution ecosystem of disinformation and its impact on Ukrainian audiences.

 We selected 'fake news' coming from Russian mainstream media as a main focus for our fact-checking activity. 

According to the UNESCO definition, 'news' means' verifiable information in the public interest, and information that does not meet these standards does not deserve the label of news. In this sense then, 'fake news' is an oxymoron which lends itself to undermining the credibility of information that does indeed meet the threshold of verifiability and public interest - i.e. real news.

In order to internationalize our efforts 2016 Stopfake.org joined First Draft as a Core Partner. First Draft is a global network of media organizations that are collaborating to improve the quality of online journalism.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Stopfake checks and verifies the publications of the stories published by Russian or pro-Russian media debunking fakes and revealing the truth.


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

As a project created by the Mohyla School of Journalism at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy - the leading journalism education institution in Ukraine, we operate as an independent non-partisan project that is not currently affiliated with the Ukrainian government or any other government. Our editorial policy is based on international principles of professional ethics in journalism, including the right to true information. Our intentions are to fight Russian disinformation by debunking it and educating people about real news vs fake news and how to build informational resilience. https://www.stopfake.org/ru/o-nas/

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Neither StopFake nor MRC never been involved in political campaign or elections.


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

In order to identify false or questionable information, our team members conduct regular monitoring of messages from mainly traditional and online media but also occasionally from social networks. Signs of false content: emotional coverage; no hard facts or data used; one-sided coverage, lack of balance of opinions; lack of supportive evidence, no references to real witnesses or credible sources, absence of photo- or video evidence; a questionable outlet(s) that disseminates information; the anonymity or questionable authorship of the story published; signs of digital manipulation of visual content (photos, videos).

Information is verified by: searching for confirmation in open sources; looking for possible witnesses; requesting clarification from officials (where suitable); inquiring experts in highly specialized topics that might be manipulated (medicine, finances, technology, science, etc.); analyzing platforms where material in question is published (sites, accounts on social networks – when created, by whom, who finances it); researching information about author(s) of publication; analyzing photo and video if available.

After all related facts have been verified, opinions from mentioned institutions, officials, external experts and testimonies from witness(s) received, an examination of photo and video content performed, StopFake comes up with a verdict. Depending on results received, StopFake gives two types of verdict – “Fake’ or “Manipulation”. Everyone can find Stopfake methodology on our website: https://www.stopfake.org/ru/o-nas/

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

StopFake provides detailed explanation about the methodology, tools, techniques and sources used for fact-checking so any read can replicate the process.


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The list of donors with logos is posted at the site. AT the same time there is no information about the amount of money that Stopfake got from donors during a year. Detailed information about speeding also is not presented on the site.

The suggestion is: publish annual revenue breaking by donors and major spending itemisation. 


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

All key authors and staff members are listed with their bios and photos.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

In "About us" menu you can find our e-mail address for conection. Also under the language icons on the site you can find a form - "Report a fake" - https://www.stopfake.org/en/about-us/. 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Report fake button is located on the front page as well as the contact information is at the About us page.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Here is our methodology:https://www.stopfake.org/ru/o-nas/

Here is an example of fact-checking article: https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-na-donbasse-poyavilis-krovavye-kanadskie-naemniki/ 


Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The methodology is described on the About us section of the site.


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Integrity is important for us. So when we publish an error, we acknowledge it and correct it at the moment, both online and on social media. Readers can email us about possible mistakes at stopfake.corrections@gmail.com. Also readers can write us their comments, claims or suggestions through the form on the website "Report a Fake": https://www.stopfake.org/ru/o-nas/. If our readers spot fake information, they can send it to us for a truth autopsy at fakestopteam@gmail.com (This info is on the column "About us")

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

There is a button calling for action aaa well as e-mail for complaints.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

The position of "Corrections Policy" is absolutely public on the site of Stopfake in direction "About us":

https://www.stopfake.org/ru/o-nas/



Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Correction policy is clearly explained at he web-site and easy to get by the site users.


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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

StopFake.org
29-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Stopfake project has no any experience of correction correspondence

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
07-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Stopfake works professionally so they didn't get any complaints on the content they had published by now.


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.