The IFCN welcomes new applications to its Code of Principles beginning Jan. 16, 2024. Our website is currently under renovation, so new signatories should begin the application process by emailing their interest to info@ifcn.org with "New Signatory" in the subject line.

Verafiles Incorporated

Organization: Verafiles Incorporated
Applicant: Ellen T. Tordesillas
Assessor: Jose Mari Hall Lanuza

Background

This is the sixth straight year that VERA Files has been applying for IFCN assessments. VERA Files Factcheck is a separate program under VERA Files that has consistently been assessed as IFCN-compliant. VERA Files has consistently provided diverse, high-quality, well-referenced, transparent, and non-partisan fact-checks in the Philippines.

Assessment Conclusion

VERA Files is compliant with all IFCN criteria, and has gone above and beyond the minimum necessary requirements for compliance. Their transparency, rigorous methodology, and audience engagement are admirable.

on 04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago)

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Pasado ang VERA Files sa lahat ng pamantayang itinakda ng IFCN para sa etikal na pagsasagawa ng mga fact-check. Mabuhay, VERA Files.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

"Verafiles Inc. is an independent nonprofit media organization registered with the Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). VERA Files’ fact-checking projects started in 2016.

Information about VERA Files can be found in ""About Us"" (https://verafiles.org/about). Information about VERA Files Fact Check can be found in ""What you want to know about VERA Files Fact Check"" (https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check)."

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago)

VERA Files is an SEC registered organization in the Philippines, and this is clearly made available in their website.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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?

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"1) When: VERA Files' fact-checking operation started during the 2016 presidential elections as a class activity of VERA Files cofounder and then trustee Yvonne T. Chua at the University of the Philippines where she teaches journalism. Chua’s students fact-checked statements made by candidates for national positions, applying guidelines used by fact-checkers in other parts of the world. Chua led VERA Files Fact Check until Jan. 31, 2019.

Why: An informed citizenry is vital in a democracy. In the same way that accurate information empowers people, disinformation confuses and disables people which could lead to the breakdown of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism.

VERA Files believes in accountability journalism, holding those in power accountable for their statements.

Government officials, politicians and other public figures tend to play fast and loose with the facts, in the process misleading the public. These “alternative facts” spread easily owing to the big following and wide reach of these public figures. In addition, social media platforms have increasingly been exploited to spread misinformation and disinformation by both public and nonpublic figures. As journalists, we at VERA Files are committed to seeking and telling the truth. Fact-checking is one of the means.

https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

2) VERA Files Fact Check team is composed of 8 researchers/reporters and 8 editors. Some of the reporters have posting duties in the different social media platforms. Three editors likewise have administrative duties, but only Ellen Tordesillas, as President, communicates directly with donors.

3) Aside from the production of Fact Checks/Fact Sheets/Explainers supported by the National Endowment for Democracy and a partnership agreement with Meta, VERA Files likewise conducts fact check training programs in partnership with educational institutions in the country, and has, as needed, collaborated with other fact checking groups in other countries.

It was among the first members of the collaborative project #CoronaVirusFactsAlliance, led by IFCN, to fight disinformation about COVID-19. Currently, it has partnerships with Meedan and Internews in support of its fact check training workshops for students in the country and Overseas Filipino workers.

VERA Files also receives support from the Open Society Foundation/Asia Democracy Network on projects aimed to address Disinformation in the New Normal.

VERA Files was one of the trainors in Internews’ Incubator program which trained selected media organizations in fact checking with the end goal of becoming IFCN signatory. Three of those who attended the training have become IFCN signatories.

Between September 2020 and September 2021, VERA Files hosted a misinformation-reporting fellowship in partnership with Facebook.

VERA Files is currently hosting a fellowship aimed at enhancing the media’s capability to raise public awareness of the situation in the South China Sea. This initiative is supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.

It is also working on a Media Ownership Monitoring (MOM) project with the German Embassy in the Philippines and the Global Media Registry, which builds on the previous MOM work that VERA Files did in 2016.

4) Goals for the coming year

Reflecting from our experience during the 2022 elections, VERA Files would like to do more social listening and be where the public is. Since more of our audience are using mobile phones to access our website and social media pages, we would like to improve our capability in producing vertical videos.

It plans to be more active in Tiktok, where a lot of disinformation is spread and goes unchecked.

VERA Files also started podcasting in 2022 and got favorable response from our audience. We would like learn more to improve the quality and reach of our podcast as we increase its production.

VERA Files also would like to be abreast with AI technology and other advances in information technology to be more effective in fighting disinformation.

In line with VERA Files’ belief that every one can be and should be a fact checker to effectively fight disinformation, it shares its fact-checking expertise with sectors of Philippine society vulnerable to disinformation (the masses and the youth including the more than 10 million Overseas Filipino workers). It would like to do more of that especially with overseas Filipino workers, whose only source of news about the Philippines is social media.

One of the more meaningful fact-check trainings VERA Files conducted this year was with persons who are visually-impaired. It wants to improve its skills and knowledge in teaching fact-checking to persons with disabilities."

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files has a dedicated fact-checking program, and an info sheet can be found on their website: https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

This website lists their factchecking objectives and justifications, process, criteria, roster, and organizational structure. This page also shows the different activities involved in their fact-checks, while their other activities can be found in their About page: https://verafiles.org/about



done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files published 292 fact-checks over the course of 30 weeks, or almost 10 fact checks per week. Furthermore, these were all published regularly, meeting the minimum requirement of one fact-check a week.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Many of the issues fact-checked by VERA Files can be considered relevant to general welfare and public interest. Much of the content fact-checked include petty scams, domestic political news, geopolitical concerns, and medical disinformation.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

"VERA Files currently receives support and funding from the embassies of Canada and Germany in the Philippines.

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives supports VERA Files' fellowship to enhance the capability of Filipino journalists to cover the situation in the South China Sea. The grant duration is from August 2023 to February 2024.

The German Embassy and the Global Media Registry is also working with VERA Files on a three-month project that monitors ownership of the media in the Philippines. This is a follow up to the media ownership monitoring (MOM) project that VERA Files carried out with Reporters Without Borders in 2016. The grant duration is from September 2023 to December 2023."

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files' funding can be accessed in the links provided in 1.2, and clearly show independence from the state or politicians. Their fact-checks are also diverse in subject, content, and slant. 


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

"VERA Files’ nonpartisan policy is stated in “What you want to know about VERA Files Fact Check” (http://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check) under the item ""How sure are we that you’re not backed by a politician or political party?""

VERA Files prohibits its trustees and staff from taking money from politicians, political parties, or partisan groups, and from having political affiliations. Neither are they allowed to take on memberships, projects, and activities that would compromise their independence and result in conflict-of-interest situations, real or perceived.

VERA Files adheres to the professional and ethical standards set by the Society of Professional Journalists (https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp) and the Philippine Journalists Code of Ethics (https://www.philpressinstitute.net/journalists-code-of-ethics/), which has a lengthy provision on nonpartisanship of journalists during elections.

The online media outlet Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC News) gives VERA Files a “least biased” rating (https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/vera-files/)."

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files has provided the links to their financial independence statements. Their own website also shows their financial independence statement.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"Fact checking the media

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Inquirer.net inaccurately reports Dela Rosa, Duterte ‘charged’ in the ICC

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-inquirer-net-inaccurately-reports-dela-rosa-duterte-charged-in-the-icc

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: SMNI anchor makes BASELESS claims that PhilStar.com editor, NUJP were part of CPP-NPA-NDF

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-smni-anchor-makes-baseless-claims-that-philstar-com-editor-nujp-were-part-of-cpp-npa-ndf

Fact checking government officials and offices

Marcos, DOF falsely claim PH leads GDP growth forecast in Asia

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-marcos-dof-falsely-claim-ph-leads-gdp-growth-forecast-in-asia

DA official seesaws on sugar import fiasco

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-da-official-seesaws-on-sugar-import-fiascoo

LTO Chief flip-flops on contingency plan for shortage of license plates

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-lto-chief-flip-flops-on-contingency-plan-for-shortage-of-license-plates

Fact checking claims vs the administration

Netizens share FAKE Sandro Marcos quote card on Maharlika Fund

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-netizens-share-fake-sandro-marcos-quote-card-on-maharlika-fund

Sara Duterte did NOT tell teachers to ‘shut up’ over DepEd laptop issue

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-sara-duterte-did-not-tell-teachers-to-shut-up-over-deped-laptop-issue

Fact checking claims about the South China Sea dispute

Ayungin Shoal is part of the Philippines’ EEZ, contrary to claim of China’s foreign ministry spokesman

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-ayungin-shoal-is-part-of-the-philippines-eez-contrary-to-claim-of-chinas-foreign-ministry-spokesman

Marcos DID NOT expel Chinese ambassador from PH

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-marcos-did-not-expel-chinese-ambassador-from-ph

Fact-checking non-government public figures

Quiboloy falsely claims Commission on Human Rights ‘doesn’t pry’ into human rights violations of the New People’s Army

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-quiboloy-falsely-claims-commission-on-human-rights-doesnt-pry-into-human-rights-violations-of-the-new-peoples-army

Doctor on TikTok claim that oral glutathione helps reverse fatty liver is unproven

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-doctor-on-tiktok-claim-that-oral-glutathione-helps-reverse-fatty-liver-is-unproven

VERA Files in July 2016 set the standards for its fact checking in its two-day editorial planning meeting. The standards were updated in 2017 after the IFCN issued the Code of Principles; they undergo thorough review every year. The team continues to adhere to the same standards, which are reiterated and underscored during VERA Files' annual planning workshop, the latest of which was held in July 2022.

VERA Files also has created templates to present its findings for multiple platforms to ensure consistency. “What you want to know about VERA Files Fact Check” (https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check#:~:text=Do%20you%20follow%20any%20standards) includes the item “Do you follow any standards when fact-checking?”"

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The 10 articles submitted by VERA Files demonstrate non-partisanship. They have a diverse set of subjects, topics, and claim formats factchecked. They also have a standard format that makes the content easily digestible.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago)

"https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

See, in particular, ""Do you follow any standards when fact-checking?"" and ""How do you select claims to fact-check?"""

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files' factcheck methodology is publicly available, transparent, non-partisan, and thoughtfully devised to ensure utmost accuracy and fairness.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

I sampled 7 fact-checks published from March 01 to September 12, 2023 by selecting a random article published between the 10th and 15th day of each month. These are linked below.

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-salcedas-remark-that-philippines-has-one-of-the-lowest-inflation-rates-in-the-world-lacks-context

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-us-coast-guard-did-not-sink-chinese-ships-in-west-ph-sea

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-smni-anchor-makes-baseless-claims-that-philstar-com-editor-nujp-were-part-of-cpp-npa-ndf

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-u-s-not-rebuilding-naval-base-in-subic-bay

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-sheet-top-concerns-of-military-other-uniformed-personnel-on-the-marcos-admins-pension-reform-proposal

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-sheet-the-marcos-administrations-12-mega-bridges

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-video-on-marcos-asean-leadership-misleads

VERA Files is transparent about where and when they got the fact-checked content as well as the sources they used to correct it. Where applicable, hyperlinks are provided to give greater context. The fact-checks are impartial and cross-referenced to ensure quality.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files shows fairness and non-partisanship in their corrections and fact-checks over the covered time period. The language used is fair and accessible, and the multimedia format uses reasonable images, sounds, and contextualized videos if any.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

See, in particular, ""How sure are we that you're not backed by a politician or political party?"""

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files' policy on non-partisanship is accessible in their website, and can be verified through the quality and content of the fact-checks itself and the methodology flowchart found in https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The fact-checks examined contain plenty of hyperlinks that enable transparency in correction and easier process-tracing for audiences. A reference list at the end also shows transparency and commitment to replicability.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files provides their own data along with contextualizing information from secondary sources in their fact-checks. Their own data are presented in multimedia formats for ease of access and understanding.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files uses many sources listed in their reference list for each fact-check. When not applicable, VERA Files uses the links or direct quotes from reputable sources that directly correct and contradict the disinformation being fact-checked.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Where applicable, VERA Files identifies the affiliations and dispositions of the sources they use to fact-check, contextualizing the information and making the bigger picture more legible for the reader.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 4 months ago

"Verafiles Inc. is an independent media nonprofit organization registered with the Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). It has been undertaking the fact-checking initiative ""VERA Files Fact Check"" since 2016. Information about VERA Files can be found in ""About Us"" (http://verafiles.org/about). Information about VERA Files Fact Check can be found in ""What you want to know about VERA Files Fact Check"" (http://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check).

Please see attached SEC Registration and General Information Sheet.

Securities and Exchange Commission registration: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aKlpEoRWOJ37tuT5NMm2uHmie4iLOiLE/view?usp=sharing 

General Information Sheet 2023: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-8_iocvEPwgz8LaJNrUUG5cEnFIBuC4B/view?usp=sharing

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files makes public and accessible on their website its statements on independence and affiliations.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 4 months ago

"https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

See, in particular, ""Who funds VERA Files Fact Check?""

https://verafiles.org/about

Please see attached Financial Statement: 

FS: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xQ6cSlg2ol1w2b1N5DceOBzyn0twuX_n/view

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The pertinent information can be found in their About page, clearly showing independence. This can be verified with the diverse content they cover.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

See, in particular, ""What does your organizational structure look like?"""

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Their organizational structure and editorial chain of command can be clearly found in their website.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"The names of the members of the fact-check teams linked to their LinkedIn profile can be found here:

https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check"


Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files has individual profile pages for most of their staff, including their board members.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"A Contact Us section is at the bottom of VERA Files' website:

https://verafiles.org/

VERA Files also provides links to its social media pages that readers can go to:

https://verafiles.org/about

VERA Files also encourage readers to send leads or claims it can fact-check, as well as to call its attention to a mistake in any one of its articles:

https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

See, in particular, “Do you accept leads or contributions for your fact-checking initiative?” and “What if the fact-check team makes a mistake?”"

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files has contact details in their websites, has social media links and buttons for each page, and has a tip line for readers to contribute.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"VERA Files provides in detail its fact-checking process in “What you want to know about VERA Files Fact Check” (http://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check) under the question, “How do you fact-check?” An infographic explains the methodology, which is called the “VERA Files Fact Checking Process.”

The methodology is also explained in the online publication, “VERAfied: A DIY guide to fact checking and fighting misinformation and disinformation” (https://verafiles.org/articles/verafied-diy-guide-fact-checking-and-fighting-misinformation). It is an updated version of the DIY guide VERA Files published online and in print in 2018, “VERAfied: A DIY guide to fact checking and fighting fake news”.

VERA Files also explains what it does as a third-party fact checker for Facebook in “VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program in PH explained” (http://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-sheet-facebooks-third-party-fact-checking-pr)

Since April 2018, a link to “VERAfied: A DIY guide to fact checking and fighting fake news” is provided at the end of every article."

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files' methodology is readily accessible and can be found in this link: https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check as well as the links they provided.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The fact-checks are transparent and effective in their selection and use of sources that support their correction and disprove the wrong information.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files' stringent methodology and multimedia presentations convincingly settle the dispute in the issue identified. The correction is consistently direct and sober, and always comes from reliable sources that audiences themselves can follow and verify.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files' fact-checks allow for publishing even without verifying from the claimants, since the contents being corrected are shown alongside the correction. Where applicable, the correction comes directly from the individuals the contents are targeting. No context is missed.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"The team religiously monitors VERA Files' social media pages, where readers regularly send in fact check requests. On VERA Files’ Facebook Messenger, netizens receive a prompt to fill up this Google Form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFnkZj0YT5QaONCQ98DsVFF_DyX6llynO1e-6WvQXzSL_aRw/viewform

Each request is carefully evaluated by an assigned member of the fact-check team.

If the claim is fact-checkable, it will be assigned to a member of the fact check team for research. Once the fact check is done, VERA Files sends the link of the published version to the reader who initially asked the claim to be checked.

For already-debunked claims, VERA Files sends the reader the link to the corresponding Fact Check article.

For content that turns out to be true based on a quick cursory Search, or is not eligible for fact-checking, VERA Files provides a quick explanation to the reader with a citation of its sources.

VERA Files also provides an email address (newsroom@verafiles.org) where readers can send leads and Fact Check pitches. See ""Does VERA Files accept fact-check requests?"" (https://verafiles.org/articles/does-vera-files-accept-fact-check-requests) and ""What you want to know about VERA Files Fact Check,"" in particular, “Do you accept leads or contributions for your fact-checking initiative?” (https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check).

In November 2021, VERA Files introduced VERA, the truth bot, a misinformation tip line on Viber (https://chats.viber.com/verafiles). VERA Files encourages Viber users to send photos, videos, links and other tips via this tip line, in an effort to reach out to more audiences, especially those on dark social such as private messaging applications.

VERA Files has added a blurb at the end of all its Fact Check articles encouraging readers to send VERA Files Fact Check any dubious claims that they encounter online.

Blurb: Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

Reader Request Form: https://forms.gle/KpgDmxM3YFGGiJL48"

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files has multiple avenues for user feedback and communication, including a tip line that urges users to actively monitor their own information ecosystems. Their protocols for filtering fact-checkable content are also communicated to users who individually reach out.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"The correction policy can be found in the item “What if the fact-check team makes a mistake?” in “What you want to know about VERA Files Fact Check” (https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check) as well as in “About Us” (https://verafiles.org/about).

Publishers who get a fact-check rating from VERA Files and receive a notification from Meta under the third-party fact-checking program can appeal to VERA Files. The information is provided in the item “How does one fact-check the fact checkers?” in “VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program in PH explained” (https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-sheet-facebooks-third-party-fact-checking-pr). Some publishers may also file an appeal within the Facebook mobile app."

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files has a correction policy accessible on their website.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files clearly communicates what they will do in case there is a need for a correction. This can be seen in the page https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

"What
if the fact-check team makes a mistake?

Do call our attention right away by emailing us at appeals@verafiles.org. Please send us a link to the Fact Check article in question with a short explanation of what you believe needs to be corrected.

We aim to reply to correction appeals within 24 hours upon notification. We correct substantive errors in our reports flagged both by readers, as well as the VERA Files fact check team itself post-publication. We insert corrections in the original text with an accompanying editor’s note.

If you believe VERA Files is in violation of the IFCN Code of Principles and wish to contact IFCN directly, you can visit the link https://ifcncodeofprinciples.poynter.org/complaints-policy."


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"The VERA Files newsroom promptly makes corrections to its fact checks when it catches its own mistakes and/or if a reader or a source points out an error in the published story.

In March 2023, a reader replied to VERA Files' tweet of this fact-check, saying: ""He [President Marcos] wasn't a senator in 2021 anymore, his last term was from 2010 to 2016. I believe it's 2011 and not 2021. Please double-check. Thank you."" The editorial team immediately updated the story on the website with an editor's note thanking the reader who caught the error.

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-padilla-echoes-marcos-guevarra-statements-against-icc-that-lack-context

In July 2023, a reader reached out to VERA Files via Facebook Messenger to inform us that we had misspelled the name of a volcano in Iceland. The correction was made shortly after, and we updated our story to include a note about the correction. We also got back to the reader and thanked them for pointing out the error and sent them a link to the updated fact check.

Link: https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-check-viral-video-of-lava-flow-from-iceland-volcano-not-mayon

"

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Where applicable, articles have an Updated notice at the top of the page. Any corrections are also clearly communicated in an editor's note at the end of the article.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"VERA Files informs users that if they believe VERA Files is in violation of the IFCN Code of Principles and wish to contact IFCN directly they can visit https://ifcncodeofprinciples.poynter.org/complaints-policy in each of the following links:

https://verafiles.org/about

https://verafiles.org/articles/what-you-want-know-about-vera-files-fact-check

https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-sheet-facebooks-third-party-fact-checking-pr

https://verafiles.org/specials/fact-check

https://verafiles.org/specials/fact-check-filipino"

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files' affiliation with IFCN, as well as IFCN's contact details should users feel that VERA Files is violating the IFCN principles, is communicated and can be easily seen in the link in 6.2.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.

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.

Verafiles Incorporated
22-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"VERA Files is not affiliated with any media company."

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza Assessor
04-Nov-2023 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

VERA Files is transparent about how it conducts corrections. This can be seen in the link in 6.2. Any corrections are also noted in the articles themselves. Users are also encouraged to contact the VERA Files team should they see any necessary corrections to any articles published.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Jose Mari Hall Lanuza.