Fact Watch

Organization: FactWatch
Applicant: Sumon Rahman
Assessor: Dinah Fariya

Background

"Background:Provide the board with a description of the media/political context of the country where it operates to help them understand the judgement about the applicants claims to non-partisanship.

The road traversed by the media has not been easy in independent Bangladesh. Press freedom had its first blow in June 1975 when the then regime shut down all but four newspapers through an executive order. Then the country fell into the grips of the successive military juntas which undermined both democracy and independent journalism for the subsequent 15 years. Media began to thrive with the restoration of democracy in 1991. However, the authoritarian attitude of successive governments and media gagging gradually shut the door to free expression of news and opinion by the media. Today, the media are hardly in a position to disseminate the truth. In Bangladesh, there is increasing evidence of threats to freedom of expression. Religious extremism and political unrest has led government to enforce increasingly repressive legislation to silence and censor dissent in the name of security and counter terrorism. Particularly for journalists and media workers who have suffered brutal attacks and killings from armed groups, many of which have gone uninvestigated and with very few of these killings ever reaching a trial. This cycle of violence and impunity is also evident where a series of journalist and human rights defenders have been killed for expressing their views. While progress can be seen in media freedom as Bangladesh formulates its own media laws, the media and civil society face the challenge of fighting threats to freedom of expression from content restrictions and other censorships which could be invoked by new laws. There is a growing concern among journalists about the government's attempt to dictate many media outlets. Nowadays owners and editors, particularly the television stations, are complaining about receiving phone calls from the authorities, asking them ""not to telecast certain issues"" that may hurt the government image or help its political rivals. Wiretapping and digital interception have also been increased alarmingly in the name of security while more and more journalists are facing defamation and criminal cases. The freedom of the press, guaranteed in the country’s constitution, is shaken and journalists now work in a more hostile climate. FactWatch initially began as a project under the Journalism and Media studies program at the University Liberal Arts Bangladesh, in order to teach students media literacy and learn about misinformation, disinformation and fake news. The political context of media freedom is dire with threats to freedom of the press. Within this context, FactWatch is one of a handful of fact-checking organisations in Bangladesh, providing independent and non-partisan fact checking on viral and trending fake news on the internet."

Assessment Conclusion



Re-assessment Conclusion: FactWatch is one of a handful of fact-checking organisations in Bangladesh, providing independent and non-partisan fact checking on viral and trending fake news on the internet. Fact checking is a form of critical, investigative inquiry, which is vital in a country such as Bangladesh. FactWatch has closely modelled its work based upon the IFCN code of principles, adhering to standards of transparency, non-partisanship, fairness and methodological rigour. There were only some minor changes that were requested to be changed, specifically such as providing further clarification or further information on specific parts of their organizational policies to ensure that they are in adherence to, not only the broad IFCN principles but also the specific criteria listed under each principle. Having reviewed the changes made by FactWatch. I believe they have adequately addressed all the outstanding issues by providing further clarity specifically in regards to their fact-checking methodology, and more detailed information in their corrections and complaints policy and non partisanship policy. In doing so, FactWatch has fulfilled all the criteria under each of the IFCN principles.

on 16-Feb-2021 (9 months ago)

Dinah Fariya assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Please refer to summary above, due to technical issues with the assessors Bangla keyboard.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

status and how this complies with criteria. Attach a link to the relevant page of your website.

FactWatch is an initiative for promoting Media Information Literacy (MIL) and raising awareness about misinformation, disinformation, fake news and rumors in Bangladesh. The center was established at the Department of Media Studies and Journalism (MSJ) at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB). The University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) is a private university registered as a non-profit entity under the University of Liberal Arts Foundation in 2004.

Information about our organization’s legal status and objectives can be found here on our website : https://cutt.ly/Sd8346T 

Files Attached
ULAB_Registration Ce... (227 KB)
Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"Compliant

FactWatch is a distinct unit within the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh ((ULAB), established in 2017. Originally it was set up as a project in the Department of Media Studies and Journalism. FactWatch was set up to engage students in learning, developing skills and gaining practical experience in tackling misinformation, disinformation and fake news. It was also set up with the primary aim of establishing a local knowledge hub of Media Information Literacy (MIL) in Bangladesh, intended to reach out the wider community with the service of debunking myths and combating misinformation.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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?

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

1. FactWatch was established on November 1, 2017 as a project of the Department of Media Studies and Journalism (MSJ) at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB). It was initially funded by the American Center, Dhaka, for its one-year operation.

2. Media literacy is a foundation of Journalism and Media Studies curriculum. FactWatch was initiated to practically engage students in learning about misinformation, disinformation, fake news and rumors, honing their communication skills and journalistic intuition. Our overarching aim is to create a local knowledge hub of Media Information Literacy (MIL) in Bangladesh. We aspire to prepare a generation of skilled fact-checkers who will be leaders in the news media industry in Bangladesh. At the same time, through this website and its social media pages, FactWatch intended to reach out the community with the service of debunking myths and combating misinformation.

3. We have four core team members: Director/Editor, Assistant Editor, Lead Researcher, and Technical Advisor. Each semester, we accept 2-4 undergraduate student interns as fact-checkers, video storytellers, and graphic designers from the Media Studies and Journalism Department. Some of the interns who develops skill and passion about fact-checking, continue with us after their internship period. Our team profile can be accessed at: https://cutt.ly/1d88olZ 

4. Apart from formal website-based factchecking, we do various kinds of media information literacy programs, both at the university level and the community level. At the university, we do several workshops and awareness programs on misinformation, disinformation and malinformation with students in different times. At the community level, we take initiatives to make people aware about rumors on social media. At the academic level, we designed a dedicated course on fact-checking in journalism which has been approved by University Grants Commission. As a unit of ULAB, FactWatch borrows resources from the journalism department and helps in capacity building to students and faculty. In doing so, FactWatch organizes several workshops, seminars, and public lectures on Media Information Literacy (MIL), fake news, misinformation, disinformation, falsehood and rumors.

5. Over the coming year, we hope to increase our reach by better engaging our audience . Although Facebook and YouTube have been the mostly used social media in Bangladesh, and we limited our activities on this platforms so far, but in the coming days we plan to take a multiplatform approach by extending our presence to Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and TikTok. With an international recognition (i.e., the IFCN accreditation) we would also like to increase editorial and research capacity by hiring a few more professional team members, who will in turn, mentor additional student interns, and run the website more efficiently and detect rumors at their earliest stages. We hope to partner with non-profit civil society organizations, grassroot NGOs, and universities to benefit from their reach and expertise while collaborating on fact-checking of issues of public interest.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"Compliant

FactWatch is a distinct unit within the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh ((ULAB), established in 2017. Originally it was set up as a project in the Department of Media Studies and Journalism. FactWatch was set up to engage students in learning, developing skills and gaining practical experience in tackling misinformation, disinformation and fake news. It was also set up with the primary aim of establishing a local knowledge hub of Media Information Literacy (MIL) in Bangladesh, intended to reach out the wider community with the service of debunking myths and combating misinformation.

FactWatch's core team members consist of the Director/Editor, Assistant Editor, Lead Researcher, and Technical Advisor. Each semester, they also accept 2-4 undergraduate student interns as fact-checkers, video storytellers, and graphic designers from the Media Studies and Journalism Department. In some cases, interns who develop strong skill and passion for fact-checking, continue after their internship period.

Apart from the fact-checking service FactWatch provides, they also run workshops, seminars and awareness programms on misinformation, disinformation and malinformation with students. They also engage with the community, where they implement initiatives to make the wider society aware about rumors and fake news on social media. From an academic perspective FactWatch has designed a dedicated course on fact-checking in journalism within the ULAB Journalism and Media Studies department.

FactWatch's goals over the coming year are to increase their online engagement by expending their presence to other social media platforms such as Twitter. They would also like to increase their editorial and research capacity by hiring and adding staff to their core team. Factwatch hopes to collaborate with civil society organizations both international and local and other universities."



done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Please see the attached document to find our posts since March 2020.

Files Attached
description FactWatch_Content Lo... (22 KB)
Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

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. There was a gap in May 2020. However, FactWatch has provided an explaination about this gap, that due to staff contracting COVID-19 there have been capacity issues in terms of publishing factchecks.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Over the previous three months, 75% of FactWatch's fact checks do focus on claims related to issues related to the impact on the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society.

Topics covered: coronvirus quarantining, social distancing, nutrition and diet - as the fact-checks provided has covered the period since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We are running this activity from an academic institute which is non-profit non-partisan and is committed to provide liberal arts education. Our organization does not have any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship to the state, politicians or political parties in Bangladesh. We started this initiative with a small funding support from the American Center, Dhaka (a non-political entity that has declared commitment against misinformation) but eventually became self-sustainable as the funding period was over 2018. Since then, we have neither been receiving any funding or support from foreign or local state or political actors over the previous financial year, nor have our intention to receive so. Our non-partisanship policy clearly mentions it here: https://cutt.ly/Od4rurM                             

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Fact Watch is a distinct project within the Department of Media Studies and Journalism at the University of Liberal Arts (ULAB) which is a non-profit and non-partisan academic institution. ULAB does not have any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship to the state, politicians or political parties in Bangladesh.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Not applicable

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

ULAB which hosts FactWatch, does not have any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship to the state, politicians or political parties in Bangladesh.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

1. কামরাঙ্গা ফল কি আসলেই বিপদজনক? https://cutt.ly/jd8MDTf 

2. সরকার কি ঈদের পর সামাজিক দূরত্ব বজায় রেখে শিক্ষা প্রতিষ্ঠান খোলার সিদ্ধান্ত নিয়েছে? https://cutt.ly/kd8MYkr 

3. “বিশ্বসাহিত্য কেন্দ্রে রামায়ণ, মহাভারত ও ত্রিপিটক পেলেও আল কোরআন পাবেন না” এই দাবি কি সত্য? https://cutt.ly/qd8MPGp 

4. জীবাণুনাশক টানেল কি করোনাভাইরাস নির্মূলে কার্যকর এবং নিরাপদ? https://cutt.ly/4d8MQuH 

5. জন্স হপকিন্স বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় কি ভাইরাস বিষয়ে বিভ্রান্তিকর তথ্য প্রচার করছে?  https://cutt.ly/fd8MvyG 

6. লিবিয়া ও তিউনিসিয়া উপকূলে উদ্ধার হওয়া অভিবাসীদের মধ্যে বাংলাদেশী কেউ কি আছে? https://cutt.ly/1d8MOoc  

7. হ্যান্ড স্যানিটাইজার থেকে অগ্নিদগ্ধ হবার ঝুঁকি আছে কি? https://cutt.ly/sd8MYCf 

8. এই বাবা ও মেয়েকে কি সত্যিই মুগদা হাসপাতালের বাইরে দেখা গিয়েছে? https://cutt.ly/bd8MTem  

9. বাংলাদেশের করোনা মোকাবেলাকে কি চীনের বিশেষজ্ঞ অন্ধকারে ঢিল ছোঁড়ার মত বলেছেন? https://cutt.ly/0d8MRwn 

10. বাংলাদেশে কি করোনার ভ্যাকসিন বিনামূল্যে দেওয়া হবে? https://cutt.ly/4d8MUQK 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Please see the following links to learn more about the scope and methodology of our fact-checking: https://cutt.ly/Od4rcbf 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

Compliant.

The FactWatch scope and methodology are easily understandable and public-facing. It clearly explains how they select claims to check, how they consider the reach and importance of the claims they verify, what types of claims they focus on fact-checking, the data verification process, and how they ensure independence during the fact-checking and verification process itself."


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

Fact Watch provides a brief explanation of the background of the sources which are used in their posts and discloses any interests they may have.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

After a review of fact-checks on topics/posts related to the government of Bangladesh, the applicant has demonstrated compliance. FactWatch declares and shows no support for any political party, politician or political candidate, nor does it advocate for or against any policy positions on any issues.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Non-partisanship policy of FactWatch: https://cutt.ly/Id4rbGc 

FactWatch
09-Feb-2021 (9 months ago)

Non-partisanship policy of FactWatch: https://cutt.ly/Id4rbGc 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

FactWatch has a policy on non-partisanship on their website. It clearly sets out conditions to ensure non-partisanship and neutrality for its staff to adhere to. However, it does not explain how it ensures that staff adhere to these conditions and what are the penalties for breaking the policy criteria. Social media of the key staff members were provided and reviewed and were not found to be in breach of FactWatch's non-partisanship policy.

Request Changes: FactWatch must explain how it ensures that staff adhere to the conditions set out for them its in non-partisanship policy.



cancel 2.5 marked as Request change by Dinah Fariya.
Dinah Fariya Assessor
11-Feb-2021 (9 months ago)

FactWatch has a policy on non-partisanship on their website. It clearly sets out conditions to ensure non-partisanship and neutrality for its staff to adhere to. However, it does not explain how it ensures that staff adhere to these conditions and what are the penalties for breaking the policy criteria. Social media of the key staff members were provided and reviewed and were not found to be in breach of FactWatch's non-partisanship policy.

FactWatch has made the necessary changes and added a section in its non-partisanship policy about how it ensures compliance of this policy through screening of staff, trainings of policies and quarterly ethics & policy reviews.




done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

FactWatch provides the source of all significant evidence used in their fact checks, providing all the necessary links and where links may have been removed from original source, they provide a screenshot of the evidence.

FactWatch does provide as much detail as compatible with the source's safety i.e rohingya journalists


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 9 months ago


Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

FactWatch uses the best available primary 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. Where the link may have been taken down or removed, FactWatch provides a screenshot of the original source in the fact-check itself.

If necessary, FactWatch also verifies a claims authenticity by communicating or communicating with the primary source directly. (e.g., an individual, agency, group or journalist).


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

FactWatch 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. The only evidence FactWatch accepts are from established popular and mass media, news agency, accredited publisher or journal etc.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

The assessor has not come across a fact-check in which FactWatch has needed to explicitly identify 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.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactWatch is the fact-checking section run by University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (parent organization). Details can be found here: https://cutt.ly/Yd4rTVj 

Files Attached
ULAB_Registration Ce... (227 KB)
Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

FactWatch is a fact-checking section of a private university (ULAB). They have shared proof registration of this organizational status and have provided the details on the website.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

About FactWatch: 

https://cutt.ly/Yd4rTVj 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

FactWatch is a fact-checking section of a private university (ULAB). They have shared proof of this organizational status. They have provided website link that confirms ownership.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactWatch team and methodology would succinctly answer these questions:

FactWatch Team: https://cutt.ly/Pd4rDJE 

FactWatch Methodology: https://cutt.ly/9d4rSXu 

FactWatch
09-Feb-2021 (9 months ago)

FactWatch team and methodology would succinctly answer these questions:

FactWatch Team: https://cutt.ly/Pd4rDJE 

FactWatch Methodology: https://cutt.ly/9d4rSXu 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

The organizational structure of the FactWatch team provided on the website in both Bangla and English. The applicant has a dedicated page where all its team members biographies are clearly listed and their roles are briefly mentioned, with the senior staff contact emails provided. 

The methodology, contains a small section where they identify who is involved in the fact-checking process and how the process is undertaken through collective decision-making.

Request Changes:

FactWatch should provide more details on the fact-checking process itself on how and by whom editorial control is exercised (specifically mention staff titles who are involved in the decision-making).



cancel 4.3 marked as Request change by Dinah Fariya.
Dinah Fariya Assessor
11-Feb-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago
Within its fact-checking methodology, FactWatch has made the changes requested, very clearly explaining how editorial control is exercised and by whom, including staff titles.




done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactWatch Team: https://cutt.ly/Pd4rDJE 

FactWatch
09-Feb-2021 (9 months ago)

FactWatch Team: https://cutt.ly/Pd4rDJE 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

FactWatch should provide more details on the fact-checking process itself on how and by whom editorial control is exercised (specifically mention staff titles who are involved in the decision-making).


cancel 4.4 marked as Request change by Dinah Fariya.
Dinah Fariya Assessor
11-Feb-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago
Names with bios and contact information such as email address is easily accessible.

done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

On the topmost bar of the homepage, where we are encouraging users to communicate with us via email or Facebook page.

https://fact-watch.org 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

On the topmost bar of the homepage, FactWatch encourages its users to communicate with their team via email or their Facebook page.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactWatch scope and methodology: https://cutt.ly/9d4rSXu 

FactWatch
09-Feb-2021 (9 months ago)

FactWatch scope and methodology: https://cutt.ly/9d4rSXu 

Files Attached
description Additional on-5.1.do... (15 KB)
Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

The applicant's verification methodology is accessible. It gives the general verification method for news items, specifically how they select a claim to fact-check, the data verification steps that must be followed, the categories of reporting and an explanation of their rating system.

Request Changes:

- How do they approach fact-checks that are politically sensitive, what strategy do they employ to maintain integrity and provide unbiased information on it? FactWatch should explicitly clarify this in the methodology section.


cancel 5.1 marked as Request change by Dinah Fariya.
Dinah Fariya Assessor
11-Feb-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

FactWatch has made the changes requested clarifying and explicitly stating in the methodology that it does not cover political statements by Bangladeshi politicians unless they involve policy-level decisions and/or information with practical public impact.

Additionally FactWatch has provided further explanation in regards to how it claims to check based on merit, the processes which is employed to conduct fact-checks within the political and legal climate of Bangladesh as part of their strategy to maintain integrity and provide unbiased information. This has been backed up with additional evidence of a number of politically sensitive fact-checks which has been provided by FactWatch.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"FactWatch does make a statement in its methodology setting out the criteria by which it selects claims to be checked and how it considers the reach any importance of the claims it checks. FactWatch selects claims based on a number of factors:

- Is it important in terms of public interest?

- Could it impact a large number of people?

- Is it difficult for people to assess the claim? Are the facts around it unclear or ambiguous? Are the facts easy to find?

- Is the content provocative, or sensitive, and could it potentially cause harm if left unchecked

After reviewing the evidence provided by FactWatch as well as conducting a randomised sample review myself, I can conclude that FactWatch does comply and strictly follows its methodology."


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

After reviewing the 20 factchecks provided by FactWatch as well as conducting a randomised sample review of factchecks from their website myself, I can conclude that in its factchecks, FactWatch does include the relevant evidence that either appears to support claims made or appears to undermine it, before determining which is correct. FactWatch provides links to the evidence, in the case where the link is broken or has been removed, FactWatch provides a screenshot of the evidence.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

After reviewing the 20 factchecks provided by FactWatch as well as conducting a randomised sample review of factchecks from their website myself, I can conclude that FactWatch does comply in its fact checks by thoroughly assessesing the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim. FactWatch in its fact-checking process, gathers evidence that supports or undermines the claim regardless of who made the initial claim. Tehy also gather evience of any conflicting information. Then they conduct a rigorous review of the primary and secondary sources available, while also asessing the reliability of the sources they have gathered for the fact-check. Once the fact checking is complete, the fact-checker involved proposes an initial rating. Subsequently, the editors and fact-checking researchers then debate the suitable rating for the claim.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

In the methodology, the primary means of collecting data are mass media and social media. But if necessary, FactWatch also verifies its authenticity by directly communicating or communicating with the primary source of the news (e.g., an individual, agency, group or journalist).


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We encourage our users to send us claim requests via emails and the our Facebook page. Our methodology explains what they can expect to be fact-checked. In case of any confusion, we explain our positions further to the readers (link shared before)

We also have a resource document adapted in Bangla based on the Poynter Institute’s online Hands-on Fact-checking: A Short Course that readers may find useful: https://cutt.ly/7d4r1Rs 

FactWatch
09-Feb-2021 (9 months ago)

We encourage our users to send us claim requests via emails and the our Facebook page. Our methodology explains what they can expect to be fact-checked. In case of any confusion, we explain our positions further to the readers (link shared before)

We also have a resource document adapted in Bangla based on the Poynter Institute’s online Hands-on Fact-checking: A Short Course that readers may find useful: https://cutt.ly/7d4r1Rs 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

FactWatch encourages its users to sen us claim requests via email or via the Facebook page. The FactWatch methodology explains to users what they expect to be fact-checked which has been divided in categories: internet rumors, factfile (misleading/confusing information), videos and coronavirus. However, the methodology does not explain what is not fact-checkable.

Request Changes: FactWatch must explicitly say what is not fact-checkable within their methodology.



cancel 5.6 marked as Request change by Dinah Fariya.
Dinah Fariya Assessor
11-Feb-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago
Requested changes have been made by FactWatch, in their methodology section, they have a clear and concise section on what is not fact-checkable.

done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Corrections and Complaints policy: https://cutt.ly/Ad4r9QJ 

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

FactWatch has a corrections or complaints policy that is easily accessible on their website.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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

FactWatch
09-Feb-2021 (9 months ago)

Complains and Correction Policy and Methodology – both have been updated to explicitly reflect what we do and do not cover.

As part of our commitment to media literacy and community engagement, we intend to respond to all feedback we receive from readers. Apart from blatantly frivolous requests, we do intend take the time to inform readers about what is or is not fact-checkable and why we may not move forward with complains, corrections, or fact-check requests, citing relevant policies. The Corrections and Complaints policy has been updated to clearly reflect our response plan. This is now clearly stated in the Complains and Correction Policy on the website.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

"FactWatch does have a corrections and complaints policy that is easily visible and accessible on the website. The policy does explain the complaints and corrections policy process and how it is handled and reviewed internally by FactWatch, inlcuding those requiring revised conclusions of a fact-check.

However, the policy does not set out clear definitions of what it does and does not cover, it refers to to methodology section? (however, methodology section does not state what is does not cover)

Request Changes:

- In the complaints and corrections policy, FactWatch should set out clear definitions of what it does and does not cover.

- Within the corrections and complaints policy, it does not specifically make a statement about the fact that some complaints may justify no response. FactWatch may respond to all complaints and corrections. Clarify whether FactWatch will respond to all complaints and corrections.


cancel 6.2 marked as Request change by Dinah Fariya.
Dinah Fariya Assessor
11-Feb-2021 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

FactWatch has made the requested changes in the corrections and compliants policy. They have clearly explained what they do or do not cover and the process that will be implemented by staff.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We have not received any correction requests in the previous six months. However, we are committed to adhering to our corrections policy if the need should arise.

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

No corrections request have been made in the previous six months.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Not applicable

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

New organisation application


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.

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.

FactWatch
15-Aug-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Not applicable

Dinah Fariya Assessor
31-Jan-2021 (10 months ago)

New organisation application


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Dinah Fariya.