Details of the work, methodology and the team involved can be accessed here: https://www.thequint.com/about-us/webqoof
The process of fact-checking ranges from ground reporting, to calling various stakeholders and authorities to verify facts, reverse searches and analysing various parts of a message for a detailed response.
We have sent our reporters on the ground many times to verify news stories and thus preventing misinformation from spreading. One of the examples was at the time of the Kathua rape case. Our reporter traveled to Kathua, J&K to verify bring out the facts.
We also rely on personal interaction with concerned parties to verify messages pertaining to them. For instance: Various messages about government schemes - when the details are not available on government websites - we write/call the Ministry for clarification.
Since the messages that we receive range from text messages to videos, the way we handle it differs.
For photographs: Some pictures can be identified that they have been tampered with by doing a simple google reverse search. As the result shows similar images, they can be identified if they are fake or not. Secondly, closer look at photographs help in analysing aspects of the picture which reveal details that help in checking the authenticity of the image. For instance: Details in pictures like billboards, location play a role in verifying.
For videos: Verifying videos can be tricky but both the audio and the video, play a role in verifying it. For instance: A message was circulating on social media that claimed that a raid was conducted on a dhaba near Delhi and the condition of the kitchen was extremely poor and unhygienic. But on watching the video we found it to be false. What helped us verify it was: The audio. People in the video were talking in Punjabi while the video was claimed to be of Haryana. Afterwards, using the language as a clue, we found the same video online. It was not just from a different location but was also quite old.
For text: For texts we take the cues and look for the information online then further analyse the source and verifying the piece bit by bit.
There are different methodologies adopted for different stories but we maintain a policy of not just relying, blindly, on popular sources of information until we ourselves are sure about the information that we put forward for our readers.
This is the link to our 'WebQoof' section, where we stack all the stories that we debunk: https://www.thequint.com/news/webqoof