Stopfals.md

Organization: Stopfals.md
Applicant: Lilia Zaharia
Assessor: Anabella Costache

Background

Given then situation of the Republic of Moldova in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war, no background explanation is needed to understand that the country is extremely fragile and a direct target of propaganda and disinformation.

StopFals.md is the only online fact-checking platform in Moldova. It was a signatory of the IFCN Code of Principles between September 23, 2020 and September 23, 2021.  

Assessment Conclusion

The StopFals project and the work of the team are consistent, constant and non partisan. The role of the project in the context of Moldova is highly important, since the mother organization, the Association of Independent Press, is a highly reputed non-governmental organization fighting for media freedom and the fact-checking project addresses a profound need of education on the topic. The topics covered are diverse and of public interest. Their activity during the Covid-19 pandemic was also significant, debunking a series of relevant false claims related to public health and security. The applicant had also a significant role in 2021 in the context of the anticipated parliamentary elections, when media outlets affiliated to political interests invaded the public space with disinformation against the opponents, the EU and NATO. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the applicant is very active on topics related to the conflict and of major interest for its audience.

The project is now respecting the standards of transparency regarding funding sources, organization, methodology and corrections. The assessments respect the methodology and, generally, high standards for the evidence provided. The audience is adequately encouraged to interact with the staff team and send claims to be fact-checked. It is clear that the project has educated and gathered a community of readers around it and this is extremely valuable.  

on 21-Apr-2022 (3 months ago)

Anabella Costache assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Proiectul StopFals și activitatea echipei sunt congruente și relevante, constante și nepărtinitoare. Rolul proiectului în contextul Moldovei este unul de o importanță majoră, ținând cont că organizația mamă, Asociația Presei Independente, este o organizație neguvernamentală renumită pentru lupta sa pentru libertatea presei, iar proiectul de fact-checking răspunde unei nevoi profunde de educație pe acest subiect. Subiectele acoperite sunt diverse și de interes public. Activitatea echipei pe perioada pandemiei de Covid-19 a fost semnificativă, demascând o serie de informații false sau înșelătoare cu privire la sănătatea și siguranța publică. În 2021, platforma a avut un rol important și în contextul alegerilor parlamentare anticipate, când canalele media afiliate politic au invadat spațiul public cu dezinformare împotriva opozanților, Uniunii Europene și NATO. De la începutul războiului din Ucraina, aplicantul este foarte activ, tratând subiecte de interes major pentru cititorii săi.

Proiectul respectă în prezent standardele de transparență privind sursele de finanțare, organizarea, metodologia și corectările articolelor publicate. Investigațiile respectă metodologia și, în general, aplică standarde înalte privind dovezile folosite. Publicul este încurajat în mod corespunzător să interacționeze cu echipa de proiect și să trimită afirmații spre verificare.    

Section 1: Eligibility to be a signatory

To be eligible to be a signatory, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 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.
  • 1.2 The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.
  • 1.3 The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application. For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track. Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.
  • 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.
  • 1.5 The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.
  • 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.

Criteria 1.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain where on your website you set out information about your organization’s legal status and how this complies with criteria. Attach a link to the relevant page of your website.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The Association of Independent Press (API) is a non-governmental organization established to support apolitical mass media. The Association of Independent Press was founded by the representatives of the first local independent newspapers "Accent Provincial" (Glodeni), "Business-Info" / at present “Gazeta de Sud” (Cimișlia), "Cugetul" (Bălți), "Cuvântul" (Rezina), "Est Curier" (Criuleni), "Gazeta de Vest" (Nisporeni), and the press agencies BASA-Press (Chisinau) and DECA-Press (Bălți).

The idea to set API belongs to the American journalist Judi Yablonky, who, during a documentation trip taken to Moldova, suggested to the directors of independent media institutions to unite under a non-governmental organization, with a view to help each other and defend their rights.

The Association of Independent Press was officially registered at the Ministry of Justice on 29 September 1997, being the first association of this kind in the republic.

API is recognised as one of the most important mass-media organisations in R. Moldova which promotes and provides assistance to independent media. API is highly appreciated for its media campaigns in various public interest sectors, advocacy activities for mass-media development, defence of the freedom of expression, access to information, promotion of journalistic self-regulation, etc.

API manages the fact-checking portal, Stopfals.md, through which journalists deny the false and biased information that appeared in the media and social networks. http://api.md/ ; www.stopfals.md

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Statutes_API_eng.pdf (451 KB)
Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Stopfals.md is a distinct team within the Association of Independent Press which is a legally registered non-governmental organization. The information can be easily found on both stopfals.md and api.md. 


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 1.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please answer the following questions – (see notes in Guidelines for Application on how to answer)

 1. When and why was your fact-checking operation started?
 2. How many people work or volunteer in the organization and what are their roles?
 3. What different activities does your organization carry out?
 4. What are the goals of your fact-checking operation over the coming year?

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Since November 2015, API in partnership with Independent Journalism Center (IJC) and Association of Independent Tele-journalists in the Republic of Moldova (ATVJI) is conducting the media campaign against false and biased information - “STOP FALS!”. The goal of the campaign is to diminish the effects and the impact resulting from propagandistic and manipulative information that distorts the reality, being spread out through various communication means by mass-media institutions and other politically-controlled structures, and to build Moldovan citizens' capacities to critically analyze the received information. In the API team 14 people work, of which 4 API employees are also on the Stopfals. MD portal team. The website www.stopfals.MD is an online platform for information on the phenomenon of "fake news", revealing false and biased information, training and assistance on fact-checking and discovering manipulation techniques, with interactive fields and special modules through to which users are encouraged to report forgeries in journalistic materials, published by local or foreign media, answer questions from opinion polls, participate in debates, etc. The main purpose of this site, as well as the API, is to thoroughly verify the false information that is intentionally transmitted on different platforms. For two years, the Stopfals. MD portal has debunked a series of fakes about Coronavirus and vaccination. At the same time, in the Republic of Moldova there were two years of presidential elections in 2020, and in 2021 - parliamentary elections attended by two platforms: left, pro-Kremlin affiliate, and right - with pro-European visions. In this context, in the last two years, the Republic of Moldova has been the target of pro-Kremlin disinformation, both inside and outside the country, and the journalists from the Stopfals. MD portal has permanently denied such misinformation.

During this difficult period of war in neighboring Ukraine, initiated by the Russian Federation, in the Republic of Moldova, misinformation from pro-Kremlin sources in Moldova, politicians, ex-politicians, sites with the pro-Kremlin editorial policy were activated. These sources spread messages directed against both Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. 

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

“STOP FALS!” project started in November 2015 as a joint effort of three independent journalism representatives from the Republic of Moldova (Independent Press Association - API, Independent Journalism Center - IJC, and Independent Tele-journalists in the Republic of Moldova - ATVJI) against misinformation and disinformation. 

The archives of the project are available on the webpage and we can track that the first fact-checking article was published on November 11, 2015. The entire content available on the webpage is exclusively dedicated to fact-checking related activities. 

The composition of the team and the role of each member are published on the webpage: https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/2    



done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 1.3
Proof you meet criteria
- The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.
- For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track.
- Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The API, through the Stopfals. md portal has focused in the last three months largely on the denial of misinformation and narratives about COVID-19, vaccination, falsehoods in the context of the Ukrainian war, and false statements voiced by politicians and former politicians. 

Files Attached
description Narratives-2022.docx (14 KB)
Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

On Stopfals.md, at least one fact-check a week was published during the last six months prior to the date of application, March 15, 2022. Stopfals.md is the only signatory (expired) of the IFCN code of principles from the Republic of Moldova. 


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 1.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous three months. No additional information required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Over the last three months, all the fact-checks published on Stopfals.md cover topics of public interest, such as issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, or propaganda against the European Union or NATO.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 1.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship your organization has to the state, politicians or political parties in the country or countries you cover. Also explain funding or support received from foreign as well as local state or political actors over the previous financial year.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The organization does not receive funding from local or foreign state or political sources. 

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The organization does not receive funding from the state, politicians or political parties from Moldova.

In 2020, API received funds from the East-European Foundation, the Soros-Moldova Foundation, the European Union (through the German Agency for International Cooperation), the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova, the Open Information Partnership (UK), the European Service Network, the Justice for Journalists Foundation, Millennium DPI Partners (U.S. Department of State), National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Moldova, the FOJO Media Institute (Sweden), AO Promo-LEX (from USAID funds), Funky Citizens (sub-grant), Konrad Adenauer - Foundation office in the Republic of Moldova.

Among them, the funds allocated for Stopfals.md came from the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Moldova, the Open Information Partnership and the European Service Network.

Although there is no proof of local or foreign political influence in the content, the report for 2021 is not available on the website of API, so the applicant should provide more information about the sources of funding in 2021.                                                                                                    


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 1.6
Proof you meet criteria
If you confirmed the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, provide a link to where on your website you set out how you ensure the editorial independence of your work.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The organization does not receive funding from local or foreign state or political sources. 

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant clearly sets out on the website the principles and measures that ensure the editorial independence of everything published on Stopfals.md: https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/1


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Section 2: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

To be compliant on nonpartisanship and fairness, applicants must meet these five criteria

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

Criteria 2.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please share links to 10 fact checks published over the past year that you believe demonstrate your non-partisanship.
Please briefly explain how the fact checks selected show that (I) you use the same high standards of evidence for equivalent claims, (II) follow the same essential process for every fact check and (III) let the evidence dictate your conclusions.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The journalists monitor the media but also the social networks for detecting misinformation;

Analyze the subject;

The journalist collects information ethically and legally.

The journalist, in collecting information of public interest, ensures every time that between his rights and the rights of citizens, who are also sources of information, a fair and reasonable balance is established.

The journalist, prior to requesting information from the source, identifies his name and, as the case may be, the media institution he represents, preventing the source that the information provided could be made public.

The journalist must obtain the opinion of all parties relevant to the subject, and in conflict situations present the positions of at least two parties. The journalist must demonstrate the plurality of opinions, even if he does not agree with them.

Files Attached
description Seroius fakes in 202... (12 KB)
Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The fact checks provided by the applicant as well as any other fact check randomly chosen from the webpage use the same standards of evidence and we can easily identify the journalists' efforts to provide objective and undoubtable proof in each analysis and to stick to the same procedure when verifying a statement.    


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 2.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you explain how you select claims to check, explaining how you ensure you do not unduly concentrate your fact-checking on any one side, and how you consider the reach and importance of the claims you select to check.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The procedure through which the selection of claims is made and the means to ensure the objectivity of the fact checking process are clearly explained on the website. Taking into consideration the national context, the selection of claims is justified and it is not a sign of partisanship. 


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 2.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

There is no proof of any intention to hide subjective interests of the sources or external influence of the analysis. The fact checks reveal the real identity of the sources and describe the context of the topic and the people involved as widely and openly as possible. 


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 2.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant is independent and with a good reputation at an international level. The political topics addressed are selected because of their importance for democracy and for the sake of transparency and accuracy in public debate, and they are treated according to the standards declared on their website and those of independent media. 


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 2.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you publish a statement setting out your policy on non-partisanship for staff and how it ensures the organization meets this criteria.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The journalists from the Stopfals.md portal respect all the norms of the DEONTOLOGICAL CODE OF THE JOURNALIST FROM THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA.

The team's activity is based on equidistance, transparency, integrity. Our editorial policy is also based on international principles of professional ethics in journalism, including the right to truthful information. Known as the most credible fact-checking newsroom in Moldova, the Stopfals.md portal carries out a non-partisan activity.

https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/1

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The statement on non-partisanship for stuff is published on the site and clearly expressed. No tracks of any expression of support or opposition towards a specific political party, person or group was identified on the site or the social media of the applicant.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Section 3: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

To be compliant on sources, applicants must meet these four criteria

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 3.1
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Whenever possible, the applicant always provides links to the sources available online, thus the reader can easily verify the information on his own. 


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 3.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant uses mostly primary sources, the best available and as many as possible. The use of secondary sources is only complementary to the primary sources and it is explained. 


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 3.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

All the fact checks provides two or more sources.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 3.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

I have found no evidence of private interest of the sources that might influence the conclusions of the fact check. But in any case, the background and relation of the sources to the topic are clearly described and they are relevant for fact check. 


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Section 4: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

To be compliant on funding and organization, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 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).
  • 4.2 Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 4.5 The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Criteria 4.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please confirm whether you are an ‘independent organization’
or ‘the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization’ and share proof of this organizational status.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The API statute includes API goals and tasks, details the organizational structure and attributes of API management, explains how to accumulate financial means and to manage API heritage, etc.

The API statute has been amended several times, the last changes being made at the General Assembly on May 19, 2017. http://api.md/page/en-statutul-api-14

Stopfals.md
20-Apr-2022 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

 At the beginning of this summer, API organizes the General Assembly of API where the report

on activities is approved, but also the financial one for the previous year. As the report for 2021

is still in process and is not yet approved to be published on the site, on the Stopfals.md portal

we have created a section entitled: ”Projects”, where are published the information about the

projects implemented by Stopfals.md, the financier and the amounts of grants.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant shares transparently the legal form and all the funding sources on the website prior to 2021. The report for 2021 is not available.

If the financial report for 2021 is not ready yet, the applicant should provide draft figures for income to date and the identities of funders accounting for more than 5%, and commit to making its final financial figures public on its website within three months of the end of its financial year end.


cancel 4.1 marked as Request change by Anabella Costache.
Anabella Costache Assessor
21-Apr-2022 (3 months ago)

The applicant shares transparently the legal form and all the funding sources.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 4.2
Proof you meet criteria
If your organization is an “independent organization”, please share a link to the page on your website where you detail your funding and indicate the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
If your organization is “the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization”, please share a link to the statement on your website about your ownership.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Donors and project amounts are indicated in the API's annual activity reports. http://api.md/page/en-raportul-anual-21

Here you will find detailed information regarding the funding for API: http://api.md/page/ro-rapoarte-anuale-21 and STOPFALS Link: https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/0

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

StopFals is an unit of API and this is clearly stated on stopfals.md and api.md 


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 4.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out your organizational structure, making clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

API team counts 14 employees, including eight women and six men. Throughout the year, voluntaries who are usually students from Journalism Faculties are working at API. http://api.md/page/en-contacte-32

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The organizational structure is published on both api.md, the parent organization, and stopfals.md 


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 4.4
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out the professional biographies of those who play a significant part in your organization’s editorial output.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Stopfals.md is part of API who also has editorial control through the 4 members that also work for Stopfals.md. It is mentioned on Stopfals: https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/2 

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

On the website, the team is presented as being composed of 5 collaborators and 2 volunteers. The professional profile is provided for the 3 members.

I suggest adding also the professional profile of the 2 other members. 


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 4.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you encourage users to communicate with your editorial team.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The Independent Press Association (API) encourages readers to report each case of false and distorted information, the activity carried out by some media institutions and national and international social networks. In that way, the public try to fight the fake media together!

https://stopfals.md/ro/opinion/signal . Also, the Stopfals. MD portal has the Semnale.stopfals.md: https://semnale.stopfals.md/, a section where readers can notify us about a fake from the media or social networks. At the same time, our readers can contact us on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StopFals.md/, but also at the email address stopfals@stopfals.md.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant strongly encourages users to communicate with the team and  provides all the necessary details. 


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Section 5: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

To be compliant on methodology, applicants must meet these six criteria

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

Criteria 5.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to the statement on your website that explains the methodology you use to select, research, write and publish your fact checks.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The link provided is not the good one, but the methodology is explained on the website here: https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/1

There is a methodology explanation stated on the website, but it seems that the applicant doesn't use it entirely. As possibles conclusions of the fact checking procedures, they distingush between "minor fake", "medium fake" and "severe fake", but I was not able to find these verdicts in the fact checks published. If these labels are not used, they should be erased from the methodology description.  

A clearer explanation of the selection of the claims would also be useful.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 5.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant generally selects the claims according to the reach and the importance they have. Although the reason for the selection of  the claim is not stated, generally the importance is obvious. Nonetheless, in some cases a brief explanation of the selection would be beneficial to the credibility of the applicant. 


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 5.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Since the applicant only publishes fact checks that lead to the conclusion that the claim is fake, most of the information provided undermines the claims. Nonetheless, I do not considered that relevant information that appears to support the claim was omitted from the analysis. 


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 5.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant uses the same standards of evidence regardless of who made the claim. In most of the fact checks, there are used primary sources such as laws, original research, photographs, video, or audio that capture the event, and, whenever possible, consults all the parties involved. 


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 5.5
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Also, the Stopfals.md portal has the Semnale.stopfals.md section where readers can notify us about a fake from the media or social networks. At the same time, our readers can contact us on their Facebook page, but also at the email address stopfals@stopfals.md. Readers can also send us false ones via Facebook personal page.Here you can find the details needed.

https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/1. A pre-documentation is made, then the journalists tell the citators that the information is documented or not.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Whenever possible, the applicant contacts the person who made the claim and publishes his reaction. When the person who made the claim doesn't answer or refuses to react, this is specified in the article. 


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 5.6
Proof you meet criteria
Please describe how you encourage 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. Include links where appropriate. If you do not allow this, explain why.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Here you can find the details needed.

https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/1

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has considerable interaction with its audience: 1184 claims reported by the readers and declared fake by the applicant were published since December 2020. The instruments are user-friendly and the selection procedure is clearly explained: https://semnale.stopfals.md/ro/about  

It would be worth repeating what is not fact-checkable and explaining how the applicant selects the claims he fact checks in the section for the readers' claims as well. 


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Section 6: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

To be compliant on corrections policy, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 6.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to where you publish on your website your corrections or complaints policy. If you are primarily a broadcaster, please provide evidence you frequently reference your corrections policy in broadcasts.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The Stopfals.md portal cares about its integrity and reputation. We only publish verified information. In exceptional cases, when an unintentional error creeps in, we correct it and notify the public about the error. The information is corrected both on the site and in social networks.

https://stopfals.md/ro/about-us/1 

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The corrections and complaints policy is published on the applicant's website. But I was not able to found any correction on the website or Facebook page. 


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 6.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the corrections policy to verify it meets critera. No additional information needed.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The corrections policy is clear enough.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 6.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a short statement about how the policy was adhered to over the previous year (or six months if this is the first application) including evidence of two examples of the responses provided by the applicant to a correction request over the previous year. Where no correction request has been made in the previous year, you must state this in your application, which will be publicly available in the assessment if your application is successful.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

During the last year, the Stopfals.md portal did not have any complaints from its readers from other people regarding the quality of the materials published by the Stopfals.md portal.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

I have found no proof of correction request. 


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 6.4
Proof you meet criteria
If you are an existing signatory, please provide a link to show where on your site you inform users that if they believe you are violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN of this, with a link to the complaints page on the IFCN site.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The Stopfals.md portal announced to the readers that the platform has the status of a signatory of the IFCN Code of Principles. In case the journalists will violate the deontological norms, the readers can notify IFCN with a complaint against Stopfals.md.

https://stopfals.md/ro/article/portalul-stopfals-md-a-semnat-codul-de-principii-al-celei-mai-mari-retele-de-verificare-a-faptelor-din-lume-international-fact-checking-network-ifcn-180425


Stopfals.md
20-Apr-2022 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The Stopfals.md portal has the section: Error correction policy, where readers are informed

about the steps that are followed by the editorial team in case they make mistakes.

The journalists from the Stopfals.md portal have signed and respect all the norms of the

JOURNALIST CODE OF ETHICS IN THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA.

The Stopfals.md portal is accountable to the public. All complaints and observations made in

accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Journalist of the Republic of Moldova and the Code of

Principles of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) are taken into account, a

document that contains a number of commitments that promote excellence in fact-finding. The

Stopfals.md portal has undertaken to comply with these commitments when applying to become

a member of this international fact-checking network.

The editorial team of the Stopfals.md portal offers all interested parties the opportunity to report

an error or inaccuracy in the material published on the platform.

Notifications can be sent to the email address stopfals@stopfals.md , on the Facebook network,

or on other social networks.

The editorial team examines the complaint/referral in a timely manner and informs the parties of

its decision. In case of inaccuracy or error, corrections will be made immediately in all possible

formats.

Grammatical or mechanical errors (spelling), which essentially do not affect the reader's

perception of the content of the text, will be corrected directly in the text.

In case of a major error, the editors will apologize and make the correction by returning with an

update. See an example of an error here.

At the same time, if the journalists from Stopfals.md violate the deontological norms, the readers

can notify IFCN with a complaint against Stopfals.md. The Press Council of the Republic of

Moldova may also be notified.

NOTE: This announcement is also published for Russian-speaking readers.

Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The link to the complaints page of the IFCN site is included in a random article on the applicant's website. 

I suggest including it on its corrections page.


cancel 6.4 marked as Request change by Anabella Costache.
Anabella Costache Assessor
21-Apr-2022 (3 months ago)

The link to the IFCN complaints page is included on the website section for Error and correction policy. 


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.

Criteria 6.5
Proof you meet criteria
If you are the fact-checking unit of a media company, please provide a link to the parent media company’s honest and open corrections policy and provide evidence that it adheres to this.

Stopfals.md
15-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Anabella Costache Assessor
20-Mar-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

API, the parent organization, is not a media company. 


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Anabella Costache.