TjekDet.dk

Organization: TjekDet.dk
Applicant: Thomas Hedin
Assessor: Ester Appelgren

Background

The applicant is an ambitious and well respected fact-checker. This time, I found two minor possible edits that the applicant responded to and made changes. The two edits concerned a description by Tjekdet on the collaboration with Facebook in terms of how they keep their independence while still receiving funding from Facebook, and that some more care should go into how numbers are represented in graphs.

Assessment Conclusion

After edits, my assessment is that the applicant is compliant with the IFCN critera.

on 03-Nov-2021 (7 months ago)

Ester Appelgren assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

See English background and conclusion.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Various places on the website we state that TjekDet.dk is owned by the registered independent and non-profit organization “Foreningen TJEKDET - National portal for bekæmpelse of fake news” (translates to “The Organization TjekDet - National portal for combating fake news”). 

Information on the ownership can be found here:

https://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#ejerforhold

https://www.tjekdet.dk/oekonomi

https://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#mission

On the "about"-page the official company registration number is stated and there is a link to the official company registration: https://datacvr.virk.dk/data/visenhed?enhedstype=virksomhed&id=41425695&soeg=tjekdet&type=undefined&language=da

Proof of registration is attached.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf 41425695 - Full view... (50 KB)
Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago)

In the About section the applicant states that the organization is a non-profit organization and owned by the legally registered Foreningen TJEKDET.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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?

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Re 1: TjekDet.dk was launched in November 2016 by its former owner Mandag Morgen ApS. This happened at the time when fake news became an issue in the public democratic debate - especially in connection with the American presidential election in 2016. Mandag Morgen took on the task of establishing the first and presently still only fact-checking media in Denmark as a public service-initiative.

Re 2: The number of editorial staff at TjekDet.dk is currently nine: One editor-in-chief, five full-time journalists and three paid researchers (students). The board of the organization consists of five persons. Most administrative tasks have been outsourced. List and biographies of the nine staff members can be found here: https://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#redaktionen. List of the board members can be found here: https://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#bestyrelsen

Re 3: The purpose of the organization is to operate the fact-checking media TjekDet. This includes reference databases with educational and scientific materials about/on misinformation and disinformation.

Re 4: Consolidate the new organization financially. The current strategy for 2022 is to increase the number of employees, strengthen the editorial content with various audio and visual formats, as well as establish editorial units for learning, scientific research and focus on publishing the content and interaction with readers via digital platforms such as social media.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago)

The initiative was set up for fact checking. Besides producing fact-checks, the organization is also focused on training and education.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

As of September 15th 2021 TjekDet has published 52 fact-checking articles since April 15th 2021 (period of six months), which equates to 2.4 fact-checking articles per week. Guides, articles about hoaxes, news stories about learning material, new scientific studies and other perspectival articles are not included.

Not surprisingly, the corona pandemic has strongly dominated editorial prioritization.

An Excel-file containing a categorized overview of the 52 fact-checks is attached.

Overview of all fact-checks can be found here: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tjekdet.dk%2Ffaktatjek. Note: The overviews contain more than 52 articles. This is due to the fact that a couple of articles are published before and after the above mentioned period.

Files Attached
description IFCN-09-2021.xlsx (38 KB)
Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

During the past six months, the applicant has published around three fact checks per week.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The reviewed stories in the sample all concerned topics related to the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society. The dominating topic was various aspects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, however stories also concerned a range of other topics, for example claims made by Danish politicians, prejudice about religious beliefs, and consumer related issues. 


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

TjekDet has no affiliation or any kind of institutional relationships with political parties or politicians. The media is owned by the independent non-profit organization “Foreningen TjekDet”. Neither the staff nor members of the board have any kind of political affiliation.

The funding of TjekDet comes from two main sources:

1. The Organization TjekDet has received 440,000 dollars in 2021 from an extraordinary state emergency media fund for film, TV and other media organizations that have been particularly hard hit financially due to the corona crises. More information on this fund can be found here: https://kum.dk/nyheder-og-presse/pressemeddelelser/nyheder/ekstraordinaer-haandsraekning-paa-20-mio-kr-klar-til-film-og-tv-branchen/1/1/

2. Since 2018 TjekDet has been appointed as third party fact-checker for Facebook, which continuously provides revenues. TjekDet was owned by a commercial media house until August 1st 2020. Hence, the previous financial year of the current owner (the non-profit organization Foreningen TjekDet) is August 1st 2020 to December 31st 2020. In this period the organization was paid 76,000 dollars by Facebook.

In the same period, TjekDet had revenue-covering activities in the form of lectures, teaching and similar, which were performed for private institutions only.

The economic foundation is clearly described on the following page: http://www.tjekdet.dk/oekonomi

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The organization that owns Tjekded is independent. The specifics of how Tjekdet is funded is available on the web page of the applicant. On this page, relevant links are provided to the main sources of funding.

However, unfortunately, the link provided in the application to the press release made by Kulturministeriet did not work. 


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

These details can be found in several places in the “About section”:

http://www.tjekdet.dk/oekonomi

http://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#mission

TjekDet.dk
03-Nov-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

These details can be found in several places in the “About section”:

http://www.tjekdet.dk/oekonomi

http://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#mission

We completely agree that there should be an in-depth explanation of the collaboration with Facebook. This has therefore now been implemented in the "About section" here: https://www.tjekdet.dk/tjekdet-har-samarbejde-med-facebook-saadan-fungerer-det

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

It is stated that the organization is independent and that the organization only accepts funding that can be used without an interference of the fundor on the content.

It would have been relevant for the general public to also know something more about how the independence is insured in the collaboration with Facebook (through the IFCN). Now there is a link to Facebook where this relationship is explained through the perspective of Facebook, but I would like to see Tjekdet also describing this collaboration, and their independence from Facebook in their own words on the website. 


cancel 1.6 marked as Request change by Ester Appelgren.
Ester Appelgren Assessor
03-Nov-2021 (7 months ago)

It is stated that the organization is independent and that the organization only accepts funding that can be used without an interference of the fundor on the content. 

There is now also a separate page about how independence is insured in the collaboration with Facebook (through the IFCN). Before, there was a link to Facebook where this relationship is explained through the perspective of Facebook, and after edits, there is now also a page on the website of Tjekdet where the applicant also are describing this collaboration, and the independence from Facebook. 


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

We are fully transparent on how many times we have fact-checked the various political parties (and their politicians), other persons or organizations. Statistics are available here: http://www.tjekdet.dk/statistik

Also, the editorial guidelines of the reach, importance of claims and statement on how we select claims to fact-check is thoroughly stated here: http://www.tjekdet.dk/arbejdsproces-og-etisk-regelsaet

TjekDet.dk is a signatory of the the press ethical rules in Denmark. English translation here: http://www.pressenaevnet.dk/press-ethical-rules/

These rules states that it is the duty of the media to publish information correctly and promptly, Information which may be prejudicial or insulting or detract from the respect in which individuals should be held, shall be very closely examined before publication, attacks and replies should, where this is reasonable, be published together and in the same way, a clear distinction shall be drawn between factual information and comments, the form and content of headlines and subheadlines shall be substantiated by the article or publication in question, incorrect information shall be corrected on the editors’ own initiative etc.

Also, as a verified signatory of IFCN from since April 2018 the site has followed the IFCN code of conduct.

In order to protect claimholders in a fact-check it is always up for consideration whether the claimholder should be refered to by name. This in order to protect a claimholder that might not be aware of the consequences of a statement etc.

TjekDet especially focus on claims on social media, which have been shared substantially. Therefore, statements not only come from politicians or other prominent decision makers, but people who have many followers on social media or who have obtained viral attention with their claim can also be subject to a fact-check.

TjekDet must always only seek claims that have obtained broad attention and in that way be a politically balanced media, where fact-check articles never express an opinion.

TjekDets fact-checking is always based on science-based facts/documentation or scientists interpretation and assessment thereof. At least two researchers should evaluate a claim – except where this is not possible due to lack of scientists within the field of the fact-check.

This is also why you will not find fact-checks on TjekDet where conclusions or stated facts are not supported by independent researchers - or in some cases other independent qualified sources.

The sources evaluating the claims are always presented with full name, profession, place of employment, sometimes also a photo of the source and generally also (link to) small bio of the source. This gives the reader transparency.

The source to a claim is always contacted and asked for comments – offered to respond.

In general, a fact-checking article always follow the same pattern. Typically, first bullet points with a condensate of the claim, the fact check's overall conclusion and short explanation of the conclusion. Next the articles thoroughly explain the claim, where and in which context it is put forward, by whom (if possible to identify the claimholder) followed by an immediate evaluation on the claim based on experts conclusions. This first section is followed by in-depth background and interviews with (at least two) experts or other qualified sources (persons, statistics or other kind of reliable evidence) and the basis of their conclusions. We strive to link to relevant scientific documentation, official statistics etc. which supports the conclusions of the experts. Finally, the claimholder (where it has been possible to identify) is asked for comments and offered the possibility of explaining his or her reasons and/or documentation.

This is often not followed if the fact-check concerns an manilpulated image, quotation, video etc. where we cannot locate the persons behind the image. In these cases the article instead follows "an educational flow", where we step-by-step explains how we have fact-checked the background and origin of the image. The purpose of this flow is to provide the readers with tools which the user in the future can use to fact-check other doubtfull images they might see on the internet.

Please note: The past year has (again) been dominated by claims relating to the corona pandemic. Thus, the selection of claims has been less varied than usual. This applies in particular to the period September 2020 to March 2021.

Examples:

1. "Søren Espersen is right that the majority of Afghans support sharia. But that does not mean they support the Taliban" https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/soeren-espersen-har-ret-i-flertallet-af-afghanere-stoetter-sharia-men-det-betyder-ikke-de

Comment: This article fact-checks a claim made by a politician on the right wing in Danish politics. The fact-checks tries to clarify whether the majority of Afghans support sharia, as the politician states in tv-debate. The article follows the general structure for our articles. That is (1) a condensate of the claim, (2) presenting the claim holder, (3) description of the virality of the claim, (4) short conclusion, (5) In-depth explanation including at least two experts and presentation/reference to documentation where and when necessary, (6) The politician is invited to comment. 

2. "Zenia Stampe lacks documentation to claim that the Danes' meat eating is worse for the climate than our energy consumption". https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/zenia-stampe-mangler-dokumentation-haevde-danskernes-koedspiseri-er-vaerre-klimaet-end

Comment: The article fact-checks a claim made by a center-right politician. The claim is about climate change. Again, the article follows the general structure for our articles. That is (1) a condensate of the claim, (2) presenting the claimholder, (3) description of the virality of the claim, (4) short conclusion, (5) In-depth explanation including at least two experts and presentation/reference to documentation where and when necessary, (6) Claimholder is invited to comment and opportunity for rebuttal.

3. "Astrid Krag sends loving thoughts to "hard hit" Sweden, but exaggerates the pressure on the Swedish hospitals". https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/astrid-krag-sender-kaerlig-tanke-til-haardt-ramte-sverige-men-overdriver-presset-paa-de

Comment: The article is fact-checking the Danish Minister of Social Affairs and the Elderly, who is a member of the Social Demcratic Party, currently holding the governmental power based on center-left political support. In this case, the article is not based on scientific researchers, but rather several relevant qualified persons at Swedish hospitals which the claim is about. The article contains several graphical elements which gives the reader added value. This also means the article gives many statistical data, which gives the reader deep insite to our research. Again the article follows the usual structure.

4. "Experts puncture key figures in the welfare debate: That there will be as many as 40,000 sosu's missing is misleading and unrealistic". https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/eksperter-punkterer-centralt-tal-i-velfaerdsdebatten-der-vil-mangle-hele-40000-sosuer-er

Comment: The article is fact-checking an estimate which has been repeated several times in the public democratic debate in the spring of 2021. Among others a politician of the far left has repeated the claim in the media. However, we do underline that the estamate orginates a workers union who has an interest in using the number. The fact-checked strives to give all aspects of the claim - in this case meaning the estimate is not necessarily totally false, but is rather exaggerated. Again the article follows the standard structure.

5. "Have skeptics found the loophole to avoid face masks in buses, trains and taxis?". https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/har-skeptikere-fundet-smutvejen-til-undgaa-mundbind-i-bus-tog-og-taxa


Comment: Unsurpringly, the 12 months the coronapandemic has been the basis of many fact-checks. The far vast majority of the claims are false. In many cases it has not been possible to find out who put the claims into circulation, but. However, some claims were not always false, but were perceived by many non-corona skeptics as being false. Hence, in a number of cases we have made fact-checks clarifying that a claim with a coronavirus aspect actually has (some) basis in facts. This proofs that we do not take sides or position. Again, this article also follows the standard structure.

6. "Vaccine-critical pamphlet is similar to something from the National Board of Health, but contains several untrue and misleading allegations". https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/vaccinekritisk-pamflet-ligner-noget-fra-sundhedsstyrelsen-men-indeholder-flere-usande-og 

Comment: As mentioned most corona-related claims has turned out to be false. This article examines a pamphlet with seven different claims. What should be noted here is that we not only concentrate on false claims, but also conclude/include what might be or is true.

7. "Will the government send 80 million in the arms of the Taliban, asks Lars Boje Mathiesen. No, the government wants to restructure the support" https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/vil-regeringen-sende-80-millioner-i-favnen-paa-taliban-spoerger-lars-boje-mathiesen-nej

Comment: This article fact-checks a claim made by a politician from the right wing party, Nye Borgerlige. The fact-check concludes the claim is misleading. Notably is that about a week prior to the publication of this fact-check, we did another one involving the same party. In this case, the claim was not put forward by the mentioned party. The viral claim came from a facebookpage with content critizing the party again and again. When comparing these two articles it becomes clear that we do not take sides, but focus on the two viral claims. https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/opslag-opdigter-tal-og-praesenterer-dem-som-nye-borgerliges-egne-beregninger

8. "Søren Espersen is right that the majority of Afghans support sharia. But that does not mean they support the Taliban" https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/soeren-espersen-har-ret-i-flertallet-af-afghanere-stoetter-sharia-men-det-betyder-ikke-de

Comment: This claim was difficult to fact-check with necessary high standards of factual basis. Hence, the article carefully includes many nuances and underline where the claim holder is right and where it might be/is misleading.

9. "The Statens Serum Institut's unwise response to access to documents fuels conspiracy theory" https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/statens-serum-instituts-ukloge-svar-paa-aktindsigt-saetter-fut-i-konspirationsteori

Comment: Over the past year, authorities have been the factual basis in articles countering viral corona claims. But we have also fact-checked claims where authorities' misleads. his applies, inter alia, to this article, which points out that a particular authority has been the cause of misinformation - however, not on purpose.

10. "Sikandar Siddique's interpretation of the housing agreement is not "vertically incorrect", as the Minister of Housing claims".

Comment: This article fact-checks new legislation which started a discussion between two politicians - one of them also being a minister. Although the article concludes that the Minister as a point, the article does contain clear nuances that speak to the other politician's statement/claim.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Links are provided to the origins of a claim, to debates on the claim, to statistical material and to other types of sources. In the application, the signatory states that scientists are quoted with their affiliations, but in the reviewed sample of articles there were no links to their biographies or photos of them. However, this is not necessary to be compliant with the IFCN criteria.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

All these parameters are explained on the following page: https://www.tjekdet.dk/arbejdsproces-og-etisk-regelsaet

On the page, with the mission statement of TjekDet this requested information also is included: http://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant explains in a clear manner how fact-checks are selected and how sources are used.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Claims are evaluated using multiple sources, such as links to official documents, documented official statements and other types of data. These pieces of evidence are commented and backed up by Danish scientists, often several different ones in the same fact-check.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

In the reviewed sample, fact checks contained short or sometimes longer analyses of the motivations behind those individuals or organizations that originally started a claim. However, this criteria concerns that the applicant should identify in its fact checks the relevant interests of the sources it uses". My assessment is that this has not been done by the applicant, but to explicitly state the motives of sources themselves (for example a scientist) that are used to verify or falsify a claim by the signatory is not customary in journalism. 


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

This statement is included in our ethical rules which are described here: http://www.tjekdet.dk/arbejdsproces-og-etisk-regelsaet#regelsaet


TjekDet.dk
03-Nov-2021 (7 months ago)

This statement is included in our ethical rules which are described here: http://www.tjekdet.dk/arbejdsproces-og-etisk-regelsaet#regelsaet

We fully recognize that graphics are not used uniformly - and lack continuity in requirements for explanations, structure, and when these are used. The reason for this inconsistency is due to the fact that the editorial staff has intensified the use of graphics over the past year, which should increase the comprehensibility of the communication. In this process, no strict requirements have been set for the use of graphics. The editorial staff has set up a task force that has now prepared these guidelines and all articles from the past three months that use graphics have been corrected according to these guidelines, which are otherwise in line with the assessor's proposal. Graphics must follow this template:

1. The headline should accurately blot short describe what the graphic shows

2. It must state what the graphic actually shows, and it must be stated, where relevant, what period the data covers, in which units the data is disclosed, and possibly how the data has come to fruition.

3. Under the graphic, there must be an in-depth explanation with the intention of the graphic (why this now) - that is, what the reader can use the graphic for in the communication.

4. In addition, there must always be a source and link.

Abovementioned changes have also been made in the two articles that the assessor mentions.

https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/amerikansk-guvernoer-siger-rigtignok-flere-vaccinerede-doer-men-det-er-ikke-vaccinerne

https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/soeren-espersen-har-ret-i-flertallet-af-afghanere-stoetter-sharia-men-det-betyder-ikke-de

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

I will assess criteria 2.5 as it is described in the guidelines ot assessors, and not how they are described in the short meta text on this website. 

The applicant mainly uses primary sources, or a mix of secondary and primary sources. If relevant, the applicant states in fact-checks that they have tried to contact a source without luck.

The applicant often use different types of public statistics as sources. In the reviewed sample, troubling shortcomings were found in graphs, and also in the text of some stories. When percentages or other measures such as averages are shown or mentioned in the text, there is no accessible way for the audience to know what they are based on or what they mean. Yes, they are linked to, but they are not explained in an accessible manner. Even though numbers may have been used like this in the original source, they might not still be easy to understand for the general public. Explanations are most often given in the text by the applicant, but graphs are still somewhat difficult to understand. 

See for example article https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/amerikansk-guvernoer-siger-rigtignok-flere-vaccinerede-doer-men-det-er-ikke-vaccinerne 

and 

https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/soeren-espersen-har-ret-i-flertallet-af-afghanere-stoetter-sharia-men-det-betyder-ikke-de

In the first example, it is not easy for the reader to understand the scale of the number of dead in the graph. Since this is an average, the number of dead can be 4,5. While using decimals in this case is correct (it represents averages), it is not an easy measure to understand for the audience – how can you be half dead?

In the second example, using statistics from the PEW surveys, what the percentages are based on is not visible in the graph, and therefore, there is no way for the audience to make sense of what the graph actually means.

I would encourage some more care to how numbers are used and represented. Sometimes, it might be better to not use a graph at all (as in the case of the half-dead because of averages), and sometimes it is as easy as to explain a bit more in detail what methodology lies behind the graph.

The least you can do is to present the total number of observations when percentages are used.


cancel 2.5 marked as Request change by Ester Appelgren.
Ester Appelgren Assessor
03-Nov-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

Please note that for this criteria, edits were originally requested. 

After requested changes, the applicant assures that they will set up a task force to go through graphs according to a new set of guidelines. This is very good! Related to this, I just wanted to recommend this book chapter by Paul Bradshaw: http://library.wbi.ac.id/repository/105.pdf#page=215

Unfortunately, I still did not find an easy way to understand the basis for the percentages in the second article. Scientists often refer to this as "n". I will however change this criteria to compliant now. 

See my original assessment for this criteria below:

I will assess criteria 2.5 as it is described in the guidelines ot assessors, and not how they are described in the short meta text on this website. 

The applicant mainly uses primary sources, or a mix of secondary and primary sources. If relevant, the applicant states in fact-checks that they have tried to contact a source without luck.

The applicant often use different types of public statistics as sources. In the reviewed sample, troubling shortcomings were found in graphs, and also in the text of some stories. When percentages or other measures such as averages are shown or mentioned in the text, there is no accessible way for the audience to know what they are based on or what they mean. Yes, they are linked to, but they are not explained in an accessible manner. Even though numbers may have been used like this in the original source, they might not still be easy to understand for the general public. Explanations are most often given in the text by the applicant, but graphs are still somewhat difficult to understand. 

See for example article https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/amerikansk-guvernoer-siger-rigtignok-flere-vaccinerede-doer-men-det-er-ikke-vaccinerne 

and 

https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/soeren-espersen-har-ret-i-flertallet-af-afghanere-stoetter-sharia-men-det-betyder-ikke-de

In the first example, it is not easy for the reader to understand the scale of the number of dead in the graph. Since this is an average, the number of dead can be 4,5. While using decimals in this case is correct (it represents averages), it is not an easy measure to understand for the audience – how can you be half dead?

In the second example, using statistics from the PEW surveys, what the percentages are based on is not visible in the graph, and therefore, there is no way for the audience to make sense of what the graph actually means.

I would encourage some more care to how numbers are used and represented. Sometimes, it might be better to not use a graph at all (as in the case of the half-dead because of averages), and sometimes it is as easy as to explain a bit more in detail what methodology lies behind the graph.

The least you can do is to present the total number of observations when percentages are used.

 


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

There methodology is clearly described in the very ambitious about section.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

It seems like the best primary sources are used for domestic fact-checks, but in the case of international viral claims it appears they rely predominantly on secondary sources.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, it is clear that the claims have been selected because they are viral and has become central to the public debate.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

No red flags were detected. However, some of the pink fact boxes lacked a clear source. 


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

TjekDet is owned by the independent non-profit “Organization TjekDet - National portal for combating fake news”.

https://datacvr.virk.dk/data/index.php?enhedstype=virksomhed&id=41425695&language=en-gb&soeg=tjekdet&type=undefined&q=visenhed

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, it is transparently declared that Tjekdet is an independent organization on the website. The result of the review of a sample of stories confirms this.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

TjekDet is an independent organization. Official registration can be found in the national company register: https://datacvr.virk.dk/data/index.php?enhedstype=virksomhed&id=41425695&language=en-gb&soeg=tjekdet&type=undefined&q=visenhed

Also, the “About section” of the website includes descriptions of ownership and organizational structure: http://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#ejerforhold

A statement of the funding can be found here: http://www.tjekdet.dk/oekonomi

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant is transparent about funding and ownership.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

The organizational structure and statement on the editorial control can be found here: http://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The editor in chief has a bio along with the other employees at Tjekdet on the about section. In this section the general mission of the initiative is described and a detailed description on the responsibilities of the board of Tjekdet and it's boundaries to the editorial team.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Biographies of the editorial staff - including the editor-in-chief - can be found here: http://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#redaktionen

Members of the board are described here. They, however, do not control the daily editorial output, but are responsible for the overall strategy of the media only: http://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os#bestyrelsen

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The biographies are included in the about section with photos, links and a description.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

This is done several places on the website:

1) We have a dedicated "tip us"-page, where users can tip us either by name or anonymously: http://www.tjekdet.dk/tip-os

2) A graphical and text-based call continuously appears on the font page https://www.tjekdet.dk/

3) In our mission statement there is section solely about this encouraging the users to contact and tip us https://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os

4) We link to our TIP US-page in the sidebar menu and several places in the “About”-section.

5) On Facebook and Twitter we periodically encourage users to tip us. 

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

As stated by the applicant there are several ways Tjekdet encourages the audience to send in claims for fact-checking. Contact details to staff is easily found on the about page.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

This statement is described here: http://www.tjekdet.dk/arbejdsproces-og-etisk-regelsaet

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, a clear and informative description on the methodology is available on the page "Arbejdsproces og etisk regelsæt" (Work process and ethical rules).


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The claims selected for fact-checks are viral to the extent that they are part of the public debate in Denmark. My assessment of the fact-checks found in the sample of reviewed stories is that these claims have indeed gained such an amount of attention by the general public that they are relevant to select for a fact-check. However, due to the dominance of COVID-19 related stories some stories are quite similar to each other. 


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

In the sample of article, I found that claims were falsified, verified and often also contained partly true or partly false sections. To arrive at this, the applicant support the fact-checks with statements from official sources, from scientists or through representation of official statistics. The "verdict" of false or true is is clearly stated and often marked by a pink highlight so that the audience can easily detect it.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The methodology seems to be the same for domestic fact claims regardless of the topic and if it is a claim that is going to be falsified or verified. In the sample of reviewed fact-checks I found that in international claims, it appears that the methodology is slightly less ambitious and secondary sources is more often used.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, the applicant clearly states if they have tried to contact the person/organization behind the claim.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

In our mission statement it is stated: http://www.tjekdet.dk/om-os

(QUOTATION): "Our readers are truth hunters - We can only reach our goals with your help. We are ready to check out a claim, statement or message you have heard or seen in the public debate. And if you have even researched the matter, we also very much welcome your material. We want to involve all readers in the process, and call to help us increase the quality of public debate by fact-checking. Tip us at the email address tip@tjekdet.dk or via our special tip form here, where tips can also be submitted anonymously. We carefully evaluate each tip, including whether these meet our ethical and general editorial guidelines for when we want and can fact-check a claim. If the necessary requirements are not met, the editors will refrain from fact checking the claim. You can read more about these requirements below". (END OF QUOTATION).

A shorter version of this text can be found on the tip-page http://www.tjekdet.dk/tip-os

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, it is clear how to send in a fact-check and what to expect from the editorial team in terms of if it will be selected to become a story.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago
Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, there is a corrections policy available on a separate page on the website. At the bottom of a corrected story there is a grey box indicating that the fact-check has been updated.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The corrections policy is ambitious, clear and easy to understand. It is also apparent from the informative error log that there have been errors and that they have been corrected.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Since september 1st, 2020, TjekDet has added clarifications on our own initiative, minor corrections and significant corrections in 15 articles. Here we give examples of significant corrections. http://www.tjekdet.dk/fejl-og-fakta

Clarifications and corrections are described not only on the "Mistakes and Facts"-page, but also in the articles in question. Minor clarifications or corrections are described in a fact box in the bottom of the articles. Significant corrections are described in a fact box in the top of the articles. We differentiate in this way to avoid unnecessarily disrupting reading of the article.

TjekDet has over the past year had two cases of relevant matter:

1:

"Study shows that vegetarians are better protected against covid-19, according to the vegetarian association. But it is not certain that the meat-free diet is the cause, says the researcher behind the study" https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/studie-viser-vegetarer-er-bedre-beskyttet-mod-covid-19-mener-vegetarforening-men-det-er

The claimholder critized the article. And the article did contain some wrong wording that made the meaning of the fact-check misleading. Therefore, The article was updated twice: (1) Two sentences were indirect repetitions of the claimholders posting text. But words were used that made the repetitions inaccurate. (2) Headline, summary points, caption and places in the body text were later also modified. Initially it said, that a specific study should not at all show that vegetarians are protected from covid-19. However, this was incorrect since the study does not find a casual relationship between being a vegetarian and a lower incidence of covid-19.

A note in the top of the article clearly explains which corrections were made.

The response to the claimholder is attached. (File: Co1.jpg)

2:

"Yes, the figures point to excess mortality in Sweden in 2020https://www.tjekdet.dk/faktatjek/jo-der-var-faktisk-overdoedelighed-i-sverige-sidste-aar-og-den-var-endda-markant

The article contains an advanced calculation made externally for TjekDet. Shortly after publication, TjekDet staff discovered that the calculation contained an error which made it necessary to make significant corrections. A news calculation was made, which did change the overall conclusion of the fact-check a bit. 

A note in the top of the article clearly explains which corrections were made.

The editors received some maila in which the senders were questioning the calculation. An answer to one of these inquiries is attached. (File: Co2.jpg)

Files Attached
CO1.jpg (602 KB) Co2.jpg (205 KB)
Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, there is a section in which the applicant states how they correct errors. This page is ambitious and contains information on how the applicant relates to different code of conduct in Denmark, but also with regards to the IFCN. This page also contains an error log.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago
Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, in the Fejl-og-fakta section (Errors and facts) there is a sentence on how to contact IFCN and a link to the IFCN complaints policy.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
22-Sep-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

TjekDet.dk is not a part of a media company. TjekDet is owned by the registered independent and non-profit organization “Foreningen TJEKDET - National portal for bekæmpelse of fake news” (translates to “The Organization TjekDet - National portal for combating fake news”). This organization has solely the purpose to operate the fact-checking media. https://datacvr.virk.dk/data/index.php?enhedstype=virksomhed&id=41425695&language=en-gb&q=visenhed&soeg=tjekdet&type=undefined.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
30-Oct-2021 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant is no longer part of a larger media organization.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Ester Appelgren.