AP Fact Check

Organization: AP Fact Check
Applicant: Karen Mahabir
Assessor: Margot Susca

Background

I have assessed the AP Fact Check application. I have reviewed more than a dozen fact check articles including those submitted through its application and others reviewed through its website and Twitter feed @APFactCheck. 

Assessment Conclusion

Based on this assessment, I mark the AP Fact Check compliant in all areas. 

on 02-Jul-2021 (5 months ago)

Margot Susca assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

The AP Fact Check site is clear and concise. Its fact checks investigate claims by both major US political parties as well as other social, heath and political news from outside the US using reliable and trusted sources, and its methodologies are easy to follow. The claims are easy to read and the "verdicts" AP makes are just as easy to follow for a lay reader seeking information. It has a corrections policy that I find equally top-notch explaining, "We do not use euphemisms such as "recasts," "fixes," "clarifies," “minor edits” or "changes" when correcting a factual error." Its staff is clearly labeled and their work and expertise is shown. All in all, this is an industry-standard site with features like NOT REAL NEWS, which is a great roundup of claims that have been debunked by that staff. 

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

Details about The Associated Press can be found in the “about” section of AP’s corporate website: https://www.ap.org/about/ 

In short, AP, one of the world’s pre-eminent news gathering organizations, is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative composed of U.S. newspapers and broadcasters and serving additional customers around the world. AP has a dedicated team of fact checkers with teams based in the United States and Mexico. Their work includes the branded AP Fact Checks that examine claims by public figures, as well as debunks of false and misleading information that’s circulating online, including as part of the Facebook fact-checking program.

Fact-checking is also deeply integrated into our whole global operation and we rely on the expertise of our journalists on a wide variety of topics to inform our fact-checking work. Any AP journalist may work on a fact check with support from the Fact Check team.

For more details about fact checking at the AP, see: https://apnews.com/afs:Content:3835460002

To learn more about The Associated Press, see: https://www.ap.org/about/

Additional details can be found in AP’s most recent annual report: https://www.ap.org/about/annual-report/2020/  

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Fully compliant. I appreciate that the AP explains, "In addition, when a false story gains traction online, we create a separate fact-checking item that tells the true story."


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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?

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)
  1. The Associated Press has been fact-checking people in power throughout its 175-year history, and has been doing distinct fact-checking items at least since 1988. These separate items were originally created to shine a spotlight on questionable assertions made by public figures, such as U.S. elected officials and candidates for office. In more recent years, fact-checking at AP has also come to include the debunking of misinformation that is shared online, to counteract the misinformation and help the public be better informed. 
  2. Dozens of journalists around AP contribute to our fact-checking efforts. About a dozen people focus exclusively on fact-checking, debunking and the coverage of the misinformation crisis, mostly in reporter and editor roles, and with specialization on various topics such as technology, health, politics and migration. They include three team members working exclusively in Spanish, and one editor who works in English and Spanish. Details about team members can be found here: https://apnews.com/article/3835460002
  3. The team’s work focuses on the branded AP Fact Checks that examine claims by public figures, as well as debunks of false and misleading information that’s circulating online, including as part of the Facebook fact-checking program. The fact-checking team is a unit within The Associated Press, a global news organization that provides a wide variety of news gathering and distribution services for news outlets around the world.
  4. We'll continue to focus on aggressively fact-checking people in power and debunking misinformation that affects how people live their lives – how they make decisions about their health, the ballots they cast, etc. We're also working on sharpening our ability to identify and debunk misinformation that travels in or affects underserved communities. And we seek to improve the exposure and impact of our fact-checking work, including by more aggressively promoting our work with AP’s existing customers, and by looking for additional opportunities to collaborate with platforms, startups and other news organizations.  
Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This section is fully compliant. 

(As a side note: I would be curious to hear more about how the fact checking team is "sharpening" its ability to fight misinformation in "underserved communities." Are these news deserts? Geographic regions? Defined by socioeconomic status? If this work comes to fruition, it may provide a model other IFCN signatories could replicate.) 


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

We publish several fact checks a week, and have for many years. You can find them below.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

It is clear the AP has a strong and consistent record publishing fact checks on a range of issues. I think its "Not Real News: What Didn't Happen This Week" is an informative and concise way for a reader to address a roundup of issues/misinformation that may be trending. 


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have reviewed the following 10 fact checks as well as others that AP submitted in section 2.1 below. The methodology and sourcing of several of these will appear in later sections of this assessment. All headlines are verbatim and taken from the AP's Fact Check website. 

June 29, 2021 AP FACT CHECK: Biden distorts bipartisan infrastructure deal

June 2, 2021 AP FACT CHECK: Manchin, Sinema do not vote with GOP more

May 23, 2021 AP FACT CHECK: Senate GOP misrepresents Jan. 6 riot panel

May 19, 2021 AP FACT CHECK: Hyperbole from Biden, GOP on state of economy

May 6, 2021 AP FACT CHECK: Yes, Trump lost election despite what he says

April 27, 2021 CLAIM: Herpes, shingles may be a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine.*

April 27, 2021 CLAIM: Photo shows lion’s mane mushrooms growing in a swamp.*

April 30, 2021 CLAIM: The COVID-19 vaccine is “shedding” from person to person. As a result, unvaccinated people who are in close proximity to vaccinated people are having changes in their period or miscarriages.*

March 26, 2021 CLAIM: The CEO of Pfizer refuses to get the COVID vaccine.*

March 26, 2021 CLAIM: “Finally, a judge has ruled Dominion Voting Machines were designed to create fraud.”*


*Part of a Not Real News wrap up under the date specified. 


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

The AP fact-checking operation is part of The Associated Press, an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative composed of U.S. newspapers and broadcasters. The vast majority of AP’s revenue comes from licensing content to members of the cooperative and to other news outlets and organizations around the world. The AP Fact Check team is funded by AP’s general news budget, which includes revenue from AP’s participation in the Facebook fact-checking program. AP operates independently from government and political interests.

Read more about the AP here: https://www.ap.org/about/ 

The 2020 AP annual report is available to the public: https://www.ap.org/about/annual-report/2020/  

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

AP Fact Check is part of the Associated Press, which is nonpartisan and independent. This is clear on its website and its organizational structure easy to understand for lay readers. 


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

n/a

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

N/A Please see above.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

These fact checks show that we’re following the same process across the political spectrum, and applying strong but fair scrutiny to all misinformation spreaders and people in power, across a variety of topics.

In all our fact-checking work, as you’ll see here, we aim to focus on misinformation that both is gaining significant traction and runs a high risk of doing real-world damage – for example, when falsehoods might alter people’s health decisions or affect who they might choose to vote for.

In each case, we isolate the false claims and/or deceptive imagery, then use AP’s industry-leading standards on unbiased reporting to determine the facts. We focus on evidence, in the form of credible data, subject-area expertise and what our journalists have themselves witnessed.

We go where that evidence takes us and offer a clear conclusion about the facts. If we can’t prove something with certainty, we won’t publish it – we'd rather not have a fact check than arrive at a conclusion that we’re not sure about.

We stay away from anonymous sourcing for these items and attribute information as specifically as possible, with the thinking that our readers should be able to recreate the fact checks themselves.

Our goal is always to arrive at the facts, and then explain them simply and clearly. We steer clear of bias – anyone who says something questionable who has a significant audience earns the same scrutiny, regardless of their message or their politics. Then, we go where the facts lead us.

Here are several fact checks that demonstrate our commitment to unbiased reporting and political neutrality:

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

AP Fact Check offers a range of fact checks of both political parties and leaders. As examples, fact checks in the last few weeks of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joseph Biden revealed false claims made by both the politicians. 


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

AP’s approach to fact-checking: https://apnews.com/article/3835460002 

AP’s News Values and Principles, which also apply to fact-checking work: https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/  

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This section is easy to follow online. AP explains: 

"OUR WORK:

We produce fact checks when we are presented with a claim from a newsmaker – in any format – that deserves further explanation or scrutiny. The AP Fact Check team, along with our experts in the field, investigates and reports out that claim to present the facts around it. These claims can come from newsmakers from any news department, and they are fact-checked by our AP experts, with oversight, guidance and reporting help from the AP Fact Check team.

The AP Fact Check team also produces items that debunk misleading or false information and visuals that are gaining significant traction online."


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Here is an example from the list of fact checks AP provided under the headline "Maricopa County ballots are secured in a vault, not shredded in trash." 

Megan Gilbertson, the communications director for Maricopa County Elections Department, told The Associated Press that her office readied 2.1 million ballots to transfer to Senate custody and those ballots are still sealed and stored in the county’s vault that is monitored by a surveillance camera around the clock.

“Maricopa County has not, and would never destroy voted ballots until legally authorized to do so after the 24-month retention period,” Gilbertson told the AP in a statement. “None of the ballots or other General election materials from the vault were in the garbage, and as a matter of business, the county can and does throw out trash.” 

The AP also sourced a local Republican official. It notes: 

"Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, said that security footage shows that the individuals who were looking in Maricopa County dumpsters also attempted to break into the warehouse entrance of the Elections Department on Saturday.

“I do not know what was in the yellow bags that have appeared in photos online because I have not seen the contents of these bags,” Richer wrote in a statement."



done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The AP consistently uses official sources and reports to verify or debunk claims made on a range of political issues by members of both US major political parties as well as other stories/items related to health and society in the US and abroad. 


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

AP News Values and Principles – Political Activities: https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/conflicts-of-interest/political-activities   

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This section is compliant. AP's News Values and Principles could be a roadmap for other fact check sites. 


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Feb. 12: AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s team glosses over his Jan. 6 tirade

Sources: Trump's Jan. 6 speech to supporters; Trump legal team's public comments; members of Congress  


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

April 27, 2021 CLAIM: Video shows Denmark’s top health official fainting from her COVID-19 vaccine.

THE FACTS: One of Denmark’s top health officials, Tanja Erichsen, collapsed during an April 14 press conference to discuss the country’s decision to discontinue use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but it was not related to the vaccine. She had not yet been vaccinated against the disease when she fell.

Sources: A spokesperson for the Danish Medicines Agency (spox confirmed that Erichsen had not been vaccinated)


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

April 30, 2021 CLAIM: The COVID-19 vaccine is “shedding” from person to person. As a result, unvaccinated people who are in close proximity to vaccinated people are having changes in their period or miscarriages.

Sources: Obstetrician who is a published author; Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; new publication in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

March 10, 2021 AP FACT CHECK: Biden admin wrong on vaccine pace, elderly

"President Joe Biden wrongly claimed the U.S. vaccinated a record 2.9 million people on Saturday while his special adviser on the pandemic exaggerated the share of older Americans who’ve been fully immunized...The claim is off base." 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

AP Fact Check is a unit of The Associated Press, as is explained in this description of our approach to fact-checking work: https://apnews.com/article/3835460002

Further proof is the presence of these fact-checking hubs on the AP News website:

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is compliant. 


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

AP Fact Check is a unit of The Associated Press, funded by the general AP news budget, as well as direct revenue from fact-checking customers like Facebook.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit cooperative that derives its revenue from U.S. newspaper and broadcast members and other news customers around the world. More details about AP can be found here: https://www.ap.org/about/

Further details about AP’s finances can be found in the cooperative’s most recent annual report: https://www.ap.org/about/annual-report/2020/   

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This section is fully compliant. 


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

This description of AP’s approach to fact-checking includes details about the AP Fact Check leadership team, which exercises control over editorial decisions: https://apnews.com/article/3835460002                             

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This section is compliant. 


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

This description of AP’s approach to fact-checking includes biographical information on members of the AP Fact Check team: https://apnews.com/article/3835460002                            

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This section is clear. I have included here an example of one AP Fact Check staff member's bio to demonstrate compliance. Others are available and similarly detailed on the AP Fact Check page included in the application. 

"KAREN MAHABIR is the AP’s Fact Check and Misinformation Editor. She has worked as a reporter, editor and producer for the AP in its Mexico City, Washington and New York offices. Mahabir also served as Managing Editor of News for The Huffington Post for two years and has spent many years working as a reporter and columnist at several newspapers in New York City and New Jersey. Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, with a concentration in African, Asian and Caribbean Studies, from the University of Sussex in England. She also has a master’s degree in International Journalism from City University of London."


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

This description of AP’s approach to fact-checking includes a section where the public is encouraged to email the team at FactCheck@ap.org with comments, questions and suggestions of claims to fact-check: https://apnews.com/article/3835460002                            

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This section is clearly articulated on its website: 

"COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS/CLAIMS TO SUBMIT

Want to reach out with a comment or fact-checking suggestion? Do you see something that needs a correction? Email us at FactCheck@ap.org.

You can also file a complaint with the International Fact Checking Network if you feel that AP or any other IFCN member has violated the fact-checkers’ code of principles." 


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

This description of AP’s approach to fact-checking notes that the team focuses on misinformation spread by top political leaders and other significant news makers, as well as damaging false content that is gaining the most traction online: https://apnews.com/article/3835460002                            

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

AP Fact Check describes its process this way: "The AP Fact Check team, along with our experts in the field, investigates and reports out that claim to present the facts around it. These claims can come from newsmakers from any news department, and they are fact-checked by our AP experts, with oversight, guidance and reporting help from the AP Fact Check team."


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

June 2, 2021 AP FACT CHECK: Manchin, Sinema do not vote with GOP more

The fact check begins: "President Joe Biden is stretching the facts when he suggests that two moderate Democrats in the Senate might be a reason why his legislative agenda, such as a sweeping voting rights bill, isn’t quickly getting done on Capitol Hill.

In a Senate divided 50-50 where legislation effectively needs 60 votes to pass, Biden points to an obstacle that doesn’t exist. He said the lawmakers, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, actually “vote more with my Republican friends.”

That’s not true."

To fact check this claim, AP used voting records provided by CQ Roll Call and FiveThirtyEight and its story is clear in explaining how it arrives at its conclusion that Biden was wrong on this item. AP determined that: "it’s not true they vote more often with Republicans than with fellow Democrats. And they haven’t done so in Biden’s presidency. So far, they’ve aligned with Biden 100% of the time."




done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
April 27, 2021 CLAIM: Herpes, shingles may be a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine.


The fact check begins: "Posts misrepresented a report from Israel on shingles cases." 

AP then goes on to a detailed explanation of how this misinformation started, and it debunks the myth showing how social media posts misrepresented a report from Israeli doctors. Its methodology goes step-by-step through the doctors' report to show what it did say. They also explained that they emailed the report authors and one of them responded: "Our report does not establish any causality..." Another physician from Vanderbilt University also was consulted and their explanation of the non-link between Covid vaccines and shingles was explained. 


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

March 26, 2021 CLAIM: The CEO of Pfizer refuses to get the COVID vaccine

The fact check starts: "AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Albert Bourla, the chair and CEO of Pfizer, received his second vaccine dose on March 10, according to a Pfizer spokesperson and a photo Bourla posted to Twitter showing him receiving the injection."

the AP explained how it received comment from a Pfizer spokesperson, used the CEO's Twitter page showing he was injected, and found statements he had made in December explaining he did not "want to jump the line." The false video circulating months later was explained in the context of these factors to debunk this claim. 


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

March 29 Nike not involved in Satan-themed sneaker release

"CLAIM: The sports apparel company Nike is working with rapper Lil Nas X to release a shoe dedicated to Satan.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Partly false."

To make its determination here, an AP Fact Check writer explained the context of a new Lil Nas X song, which had a video showing the artist descending into Hell. An arts collective wanted to release 666 black Nike Airs with a drop of blood inside them for, what sounds like, a publicity stunt centered on the music. Turns out that Nike did not "participate in the development or marketing of the themed sneakers." That was revealed in a statement from the sneaker company, which also said it has no relationship with Lil Nas X or the arts group. Further, Nike filed a trademark infringement against the arts collective, the fact check explained. 



done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

This description of AP’s approach to fact-checking includes a section where the public is encouraged to email the team at FactCheck@ap.org with comments, questions and suggestions of claims to fact-check: https://apnews.com/article/3835460002. In addition, the heavily followed @APFactCheck Twitter account has open DMs, which the team watches for requests and suggestions. We make no specific promises about what sorts of claims will and won’t be fact-checked, as these decisions need to made on a case-by-case basis. \                           

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

AP Fact Check explains the long-running mission of its news organization and now fact check site. It writes, "When a public figure says something questionable, it is our job to investigate it and offer the facts. You’ll find some of those stories here. In addition, when a false story gains traction online, we create a separate fact-checking item that tells the true story. This is where you’ll find those stories and our weekly roundup of untrue headlines that have been shared widely on social media." 

After listing bios, it then explains readers can offer suggestions for fact checks or corrections through an email address FactCheck@Ap.org. I sent an email at 10:31 a.m. EST on July 2, 2021 to that email address to confirm it is being monitored. I received a response one minute later. 


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

The AP Fact Check operation follows AP’s broader correction policy, which can be found here: https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/telling-the-story/corrections-correctives                             

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The Fact Check arm of AP follows the news organization's corrections policy. I have included a screen shot of this comprehensive policy. It also solicits through its social media channel information about corrections. 

Files Attached
Screen Shot 2021-07-... (154 KB)
done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is fully compliant. I especially appreciate AP says, "We do not use euphemisms such as "recasts," "fixes," "clarifies," “minor edits” or "changes" when correcting a factual error." 


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

We watch for correction requests through the AP Fact Check email address, as well as the @APFactCheck Twitter account. We also field suggestions from fellow journalists around the AP, who tend to read each other’s stories quite closely. We take any correction suggestion very seriously, and consider each on its merits. We have no bias toward correcting, or not correcting – we simply assess whether there is something that is inaccurate, unfair or unclear. If there is, we make a change, and we explain the change we made in a note published on the item.

We made various minor corrections during the year. But we didn’t field any serious correction requests from the general public – or from subjects of our stories – during the past 12 months. We certainly heard from people who were unhappy about items we wrote, but none of them flagged anything as inaccurate in our reporting. If we did, we would certainly take them very seriously and make corrections as needed. 

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I looked at both the website and its social media feed to confirm, and this section is compliant. 


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

This is on the page where we explain our approach to fact-checking, toward the bottom: https://apnews.com/article/afs:Content:3835460002                             

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is clear and concise. Both links to IFCN are in working order. 


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

AP Fact Check
14-Jun-2021 (5 months ago)

The AP Fact Check operation follows AP’s broader correction policy, which can be found here: https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/telling-the-story/corrections-correctives                            

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is compliant. 


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.