Viral Check

Organization: Viral Check
Applicant: Nuria Bernardo
Assessor: Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura

Background

Viral.Check is a fact checking operation from Portugal, from the same creators of Polígrafo, one of the largest fact checkers of the country. They have started in November 2021. They specialize in claims connected to personal and public health, checking misinformation and disinformation around food, medicine, treatments and vaccine, particularly those that arise from online rumors. They also publish interviews and other content around those topics.

Assessment Conclusion

Viral.Check has a solid fact checking expertise. They employ first hand sources, whether those are academic studies, reports, public data sources or experts, consistently linking to them. They analyze sources with high journalists standards, being objective and transparent when doing so. They have fixed issues previously identified by the assessor and are fully compliant to the IFCN code.

on 17-Aug-2022 (3 months ago)

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Viral.Check é uma organização de checagem de fatos de Portugal, criada em 2021 pelos mesmos responsáveis pelo Polígrafo, um dos maiores checadores do país. São especializados em desinformação relacionada a saúde, sobretudo a saúde pública, em tópicos como alimentação, vacinas, remédios, tratamentos etc. Sua produção é responsável e segue bons princípios jornalísticos de objetividade, imparcialidade e transparência de fontes. Estão totalmente de acordo com o código da IFCN, após aprimorarem algumas questões apontadas anteriormente pelo avaliador.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Here is a link to a formal document that proves Viral Check (owned by Inevitável e Fundamental Lda) is a legally-registered organization:

https://eportugal.gov.pt/empresas/Services/Online/Pedidos.aspx?service=CCP

Access Code: 5436-7415-8489

Also, in our “Who we are" page we have information about our official registration, with the legal number “515112178". 

Here is the link:

https://viral.sapo.pt/o-nosso-financiamento/

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago)

Viral Check is owned by Inevitável e Fundamental, a media company registered in Portugal that is also involved with the fact-checking organization Polígrafo. They legally registered and this is easily findable in their website.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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?

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Viral Check was launched in November 2021. It is the first and only Portuguese digital newspaper entirely dedicated to the verification of health misinformation. At the moment, either full-time or part-time, as external collaborators or as interns, around 12 people work for Viral Check: ten journalists, one graphic designer and one social media manager.

Since its launch, Viral Check intends to be an active agent in the verification of the quality of information that circulates about health in the public space, with special focus on that which is disseminated through social networks, where, due to the lack of journalistic filtering, the problem of misinformation is especially worrying.

Another of Viral Check's objectives is the sharing of knowledge, which is why we have a space reserved for the dissemination of articles signed by leading specialists in various areas of health.

We also consider we have a role to play in the promotion of health literacy and in the training of journalists specialized in detecting and verifying health information.

For the coming year, our key objectives are as follows:

- Scale up our fact-checking activity, namely through an increase in monthly production by at least 25%

- Expand our presence in the social networks where we are already present: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tik Tok

- Adopt an artificial intelligence mechanism for the dissemination of our content on Facebook

- Promote workshops on health misinformation for professional journalists

- Participate in public conferences on the subject of misinformation

- Explore the possibility of developing a TV show on health misinformation

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Viral Check was formed and continues to work around fact checking. They focus specifically on fact checking health misinformation, and are planning an expasion in their editorial activities.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

It is not true that heart disease affects men more than women

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/doencas-cardiacas-atingem-mais-os-homens-do-que-as-mulheres-2/

Administrating insulin can cause chemical dependence? The answer is no

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/a-administracao-de-insulina-pode-causar-dependencia-quimica-a-resposta-e-nao/

No, cancer biopsy or surgery doesn’t cause tumors to spread throughout the body

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/a-biopsia-ou-a-cirurgia-ao-cancro-podem-fazer-com-que-o-tumor-se-espalhe-pelo-corpo/

Using the microwave to heat up food causes cancer? No, it’s a myth

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/utilizar-o-micro-ondas-para-aquecer-a-comida-provoca-cancro-nao-e-um-mito/

Do we need an annual check-up? Experts say no

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/devemos-fazer-um-check-up-anual/

It’s not true that tobacco consumption only causes lung cancer

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/o-consumo-de-tabaco-nao-provoca-apenas-cancro-do-pulmao/

No, sugar does not make children hyperactive

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/o-acucar-deixa-as-criancas-hiperativas/

No, using deodorant or antiperspirant doesn’t increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/usar-desodorizante-ou-antitranspirante-nao-aumenta-o-risco-de-desenvolver-cancro-da-mama/

Can cell phones cause brain cancer? There’s no evidence to prove it

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/o-telemovel-usado-em-excesso-pode-causar-cancro-no-cerebro/

Are there eight approved covid-19 vaccines and not one against HIV? Yes, it's true

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/existem-oito-vacinas-contra-a-covid-19-aprovadas-e-nenhuma-contra-o-vih/

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Scientists are not unanimous

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/o-pequeno-almoco-e-a-refeicao-mais-importante-do-dia/

Do covid-19 vaccines affect the fertility of those who take them? No, it's fake

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/as-vacinas-contra-a-covid-19-afetam-a-fertilidade-de-quem-as-toma-e-falso/

Are generic drugs less effective? Some say yes, but it's not true

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/os-medicamentos-genericos-sao-menos-eficazes/

Have you heard that cotton swabs are bad for your ears? Well, it's not an urban myth...

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/os-cotonetes-fazem-mal-aos-ouvidos/

Do MRNA vaccines cause blood clots? It’s not true

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/as-vacinas-de-mrna-provocam-coagulos-sanguineos-nao-e-verdade/

Do extreme weather events affect public health? It’s true

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/os-fenomenos-meteorologicos-extremos-afetam-a-saude-publica-e-verdade/

Does eating fruit on an empty stomach prevent and treat cancer? Of course not

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/comer-fruta-em-jejum-previne-e-trata-o-cancro-claro-que-nao/

Is fish good for memory? Yes it's true

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/o-peixe-e-bom-para-a-memoria-sim-e-verdade/

Yes, wildfires can increase asthma and heart attacks

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/sim-os-incendios-florestais-podem-aumentar-incidencia-de-asma-e-ataques-cardiacos/

Vaccinations “now account for nine out of 10 COVID-19 deaths” in the UK? Not really

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/vacinados-agora-representam-nove-em-cada-10-mortes-por-covid-19-no-reino-unido-nao-e-bem-assim/

It's not true that “all” pregnant women who took the Pfizer vaccine lost their babies

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/nao-e-verdade-que-todas-as-gravidas-que-levaram-a-vacina-da-pfizer-perderam-os-bebes/

It’s not true that it is safe to consume iodine to prevent the effects of a nuclear disaster

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/e-seguro-consumir-iodo-para-prevenir-efeitos-de-desastre-nuclear-em-portugal/

Is tongue shaving beneficial for our health? Yes, science says it's not just a fad

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/raspar-a-lingua-e-benefico-para-a-saude-sim-a-ciencia-diz-que-nao-e-so-uma-moda/

Gluten and lactose free. If you don't have intolerances, your diet won't benefit from these foods

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/gluten-free-e-sem-lactose-se-nao-tem-intolerancias-nao-beneficia-com-estes-alimentos-e-ate-podem-piorar-a-sua-dieta/

Turmeric, lemon and ginger “shots” strengthen the body's immunity? There’s no scientific data to prove it.

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/shots-de-curcuma-limao-e-gengibre-fortalecem-a-imunidade-do-corpo-nao-ha-dados-cientificos-que-o-comprovem/

Eating vegetable snacks is not the same as having vegetables with a meal

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/comer-snacks-de-legumes-nao-e-o-mesmo-que-ingerir-vegetais-a-refeicao/

Is it better to consume white, brown or brown sugar? There is no big difference

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/e-melhor-consumir-acucar-branco-amarelo-ou-mascavado-nao-ha-grande-diferenca/

No, taking a bath during digestion is not dangerous but depends on the situation

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/nao-tomar-banho-durante-a-digestao-nao-e-perigoso-mas-depende-das-situacoes/

Can essential oils stop hair loss? It depends on the situation and there are few studies to prove it

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/oleos-essenciais-podem-travar-queda-de-cabelo-depende-da-situacao-e-ha-poucos-estudos-a-comprova-lo%EF%BF%BC/

Do muscles turn to fat when you stop exercising? Not really.

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/musculos-transformam-se-em-gordura-quando-se-deixa-de-fazer-exercicio-nao-e-bem-assim/

Is the air quality better indoors than outdoors? It depends

https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/a-qualidade-do-ar-e-melhor-em-espacos-interiores-do-que-exteriores-depende/

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant meets and surpasses the minimum required amount of fact checks per week. They haver started their activities November 2021, and the archive is available integrally. The applicant is fully compliant.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant focuses on fact checks connected to the realm of personal and public health, like food, sickness, viral diseases etc.. After a review of random fact checks, it was assessed that the checks of the applicant are integrally focused on issues of social importance for society and individuals. They meet and surpass the minimum required amount.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Viral Check is an organization that operates exclusively in the private sector. It doesn't do business with state-owned companies or with any political party within our country or elsewhere. Given that Viral Check is not dedicated to political issues, our interaction with political parties and actors is residual.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant does not have any ties with state actors. All their funding come from private sources, and they don't offer any type of partnership or program with state or governmental actors.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Not applicable, since the applicant does not display any ties with government actors.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Viral Check doesn't verify issues related to political parties. It is exclusively dedicated to the fact checking of public health issues. It is not our practice to verify claims made by politicians or proposals made by political parties. It is a project in which the most important factor is the presentation of scientific evidence to validate our work. Taking into account that science is done in laboratories and universities, we would say that this criterion can hardly be taken into account in the evaluation of our work. For this reason, we have decided not to share links to fact checks in this particular subject  

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

It is important to notice that the applicant is at a particular position, since they do not fact check political claims, only those connected directly to health and public health. Thus, they have not provided a list of links to be fact checked in this section. The assessor has, however, analyzed a set of checks that pertain to issues that are contentious in terms of health and politics, such as vaccines, covid and other topics. With that evidence, it was found that the assessor uses the same standards of evidence for equivalent claims, follow a clear journalists process and are balanced in their conclusions.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Here is a link to our method:
https://viral.sapo.pt/o-nosso-metodo/

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

2.2 is now compliant to the code. They have made their Methods page more specific.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant consistently identifies and characterizes their sources in a way that the reader can judge if the source may influence the result of a check. That said, after a review of random checks, it wasn't identified any case where the source employed might have interestests that would undermine the check, all sources being responsible and qualified.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant is neutral in their checks, not focusing exclusively on either side of the spectrum. Overall, as stated before, the applicant does not focus on political issues or actors, thus distancing themselves of political discussions. However, there are instances where health discussions have political consequences or positions, especially in relation to covid. In those cases, the applicant remains newtral and driven by journalistic evidence, not advocating for any policy or position.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Viral Check is completely independent of all political parties. In our Editorial Statute (4) we claim that none of Viral Check’s journalists is a member of a political party.

Here is the link:

https://viral.sapo.pt/estatuto-editorial/

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has a page, in their About tab, where they publish their Editorial Statute. In there, it is stated that their journalists are not a part of any political party. The applicant is compliant.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant consistently identifies the sources used in their checks. They include a statement in their Methods page defending this posture, and this was also identified after a thorough review of random fact checks. Public and documental sources are identified and linked to, and experts interviewed are always on the record.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant consistently employs firsthand sources in their checks, whether this means documents, public data or scientific research. Then talking to experts in a field, those are well positioned to weigh in on the conclusions of the check.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant usually employs more than one source to analyse claims. The claim is divided in more alegations, and those are covered with different sources. One example of this posture can be found in the following link, where the original claim has been checked against different sources: https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/vegetarianos-sao-mais-propensos-a-ter-anemia-nao-desde-que-a-dieta-seja-equilibrada/


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The sources are identified and characterized in a way that the audience can judge whether they pose any challenge to the check. However, in the random sample of fact checks used by the assessor, it was not identified any case where the source could have a hidden interest in the claim being checked.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Viral Check is an independent organization dedicated only to fact checking. Our principles are expressed here:

https://viral.sapo.pt/estatuto-editorial/

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant is an independent organization, connected to the same actors responsible for Polígrafo, one of the largest Portuguese fact checkers and an IFCN signatory. The legal form in which the company is registered is clear in the produced page, as well and their main shareholders. The applicant is dedicated only to fact checking.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago
Viral Check
05-Aug-2022 (4 months ago)

https://viral.sapo.pt/o-nosso-financiamento/

Page updated to include the following:

"VIRAL is a project which operates in the private sector. Its business model is essentially made up of two sources of revenue: 1) advertising investment from advertisers, raised by our commercial team (which has no connection with our editorial staff); 2) revenue (still non-existent since the creation of VIRAL) that may result from editorial partnerships with foundations and/or private companies interested in contributing to the clarification of health issues. The selection of partners will always have one fundamental prerequisite: the total autonomy of editorial content from the sponsors of the projects."

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has produced a page that demonstrates their legal status, shareholders and main source of funding, which is advertising and other editorial projects. They are registered as a for-profit company in Lisbon. However, the funding is not sufficiently detailed. It should described how the sources of funding and editorial projects are divided in terms of share of revenue, and also better describe what are these editorial partnerships.


cancel 4.2 marked as Request change by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.
Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
17-Aug-2022 (3 months ago)

The applicant has produced a page that demonstrates their legal status, shareholders and main source of funding, which is advertising and other editorial projects. They are registered as a for-profit company in Lisbon. After some changes, the applicant has made this page clearer, giving given more detail on their advertising and special project businesses, and stating that they haven’t earned revenue from the latter yet.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago
Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has a page of Who we are in their About section. This page names each member of the team, clearly identifying the two directors, also providing their email address. Who exercises editorial control is clear.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

There are two ways to access the journalist's biography.

1. Clicking on the names on the technical sheet:

https://viral.sapo.pt/quem-somos/

2. Clicking on the authors of the fact checks:

https://viral.sapo.pt/autores/filipa-traqueia/

Viral Check
05-Aug-2022 (4 months ago)

There are two ways to access the journalist's biography.

1. Clicking on the names on the technical sheet: [Fixed]

https://viral.sapo.pt/quem-somos/

2. Clicking on the authors of the fact checks:

https://viral.sapo.pt/autores/filipa-traqueia/

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

There are two potential places from where a reader might access the professional bios of the team members: from each check, clicking on the name of the author, and from the Who we are page, clicking on the desired member. However, the links on this second option are not working and should be fixed.


cancel 4.4 marked as Request change by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.
Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
17-Aug-2022 (3 months ago)

There are two potential places from where a reader might access the professional bios of the team members: from each check, clicking on the name of the author, and from the Who we are page, clicking on the desired member. The links have been fixed and are properly working.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

We consider it essential to engage our readers in the journalistic production process. On the homepage, we have a space in the top header called "Ask us for a fact check".

Any reader can do it using the following solutions:

- Through our social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

- By email: contactos@viralcheck.pt

- Through the email addresses of each of the journalists, available here:

https://viral.sapo.pt/peca-nos-um-fact-check/

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

There are different ways that an audience member may reach the applicant's team. First on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Second, on the Team page, each journalist has an email address available for the audience. Finally, a general email address is available by clicking on the Contact us page, where their address is also available.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has a page where they explain their method clearly and in steps. It covers how they select, research, write and publish their fact checks.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant is dedicated mainly to online rumours around personal and public health. Those rumours arise in social media, and the applicant checks the ones that represent a convergence between prevalence and social impact. After a review of random checks, it was concluded that, when looking for claims to check, the applicant values reach and importance of the claims.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

After a review of random checks, it was concluded that the applicant employs sources in a responsible way, both to confirm and to undermine a given claim. One example of this behaviour can be found in the following example: https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/beber-um-digestivo-ajuda-e-torna-a-digestao-mais-rapida-nao-e-bem-assim/. This is especially common since the applicant specializes in fact checking connected to health, a topic where sometimes there are not clear answers about risks or right behaviors.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant analyses the available information responsibly when checking a claim, regardless of where it came from. However, this factor is not as present here, since the main claims checks are online rumours which sometimes do not have a specific source, thus rendering comparison difficult.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

When checking a claim, the applicant has the policy of contacting who made a claim. However, this is not common in their case, since, as mentioned before, they are mainly focused on online rumours that have no clear authorship or origin. Even in those cases, the original posts/content is usually shown, as exposed in the following link: https://viral.sapo.pt/factos/vacinados-agora-representam-nove-em-cada-10-mortes-por-covid-19-no-reino-unido-nao-e-bem-assim/


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Viral Check has a page specifically dedicated to encouraging readers to request fact checks by our team. We call it "Ask us for a fact-check" and it can be found through this link:

https://viral.sapo.pt/peca-nos-um-fact-check/

Viral Check
05-Aug-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Viral Check has a page specifically dedicated to encouraging readers to request fact checks by our team. We call it "Ask us for a fact-check" and it can be found through this link:

https://viral.sapo.pt/peca-nos-um-fact-check/

Page has been updated to include more details as requested

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has a specific page, linked to in their homepage, that explains how readers can get in touch to send claims and what is to be expected. In that page, they provide the links to send claims, and explain what is the scope of the claims they check. However, this could be improved if the applicant added more details on what can not be checked, either because of topic or because it is an opinion or is not checked.


cancel 5.6 marked as Request change by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.
Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
17-Aug-2022 (3 months ago)

The applicant has a specific page, linked to in their homepage, that explains how readers can get in touch to send claims and what is to be expected. In that page, they provide the links to send claims, and explain what is the scope of the claims they check. After an initial assessment, this page has been improved and includes more details on what can not be checked.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Our corrections policy can be found here: https://viral.sapo.pt/o-nosso-metodo/
We encourage readers to submit correction requests and we provide an e-mail address for them to do so.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has a corrections policy in place and easily accessible for the reader. It is available from the home page in their About section.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant has a corrections policy that is clear and encompasses the points outlined in the IFCN code. It details how errors are handled, what are the types of errors covered and what readers should expect.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Viral Check
18-May-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

During the first six months of activity, we have not received any relevant requests for corrections

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The applicant stated that they have not received any requests for corrections in those first six months of activity, thus not having an example of a correction.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Not applicable, since the applicant is not a current signatory.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.

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.

Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura Assessor
18-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Not applicable, since the applicant is not a unit of a media company.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Marcelo Crispim da Fontoura.