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

Reuters

Organization: Reuters
Applicant: Stephanie Burnett
Assessor: Margot Susca

Background

I offer my highest recommendation in support of Reuters Fact Check's application to become a verified signatory. 

Assessment Conclusion

I do think, having used the site on two different days to complete this evaluation, that it is sometimes not as clear navigating the Fact Check parts of the website, which is part of the larger Reuters site. It may be beneficial to have a navigation bar within its Fact Check piece. That would not, in my opinion, be a reason to mark them as noncompliant. 

on 07-Jul-2022 (1 year ago)

Margot Susca assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

In terms of content, material, sourcing, professionalism, and nonpartisanship, Reuters Fact Check sets a high bar for signatories or others wishing to become signatories. 

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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

Reuters News is part of Thomson Reuters, a corporation listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. Further details about Thomson Reuters, including Annual Reports, are available here: https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en/about-us.html

This page is directly linked to from the Reuters Fact Check "About Us" page. A link to the "About Us" page is carried on all fact checks.

A footer that sits on the Reuters.com homepage and the Reuters.com/fact-check landing page also carries the following information: "Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV". A link to the Thomson Reuters homepage is provided.

Files Attached
Picture1.1.jpg (11 KB)
Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I confirm the "About us" section of Thomson Reuters explains its legal status, which shows that it is a publicly-traded entity. The link is here: https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en/about-us.html Links from the site include space for Investor Relations. 

Its fact check website's footer reads: "Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers."


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?

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

1. "Reuters Fact Check" began work in January 2020, but prior to this date Reuters was routinely fact-checking claims as part of its core newsgathering efforts. The Fact Check team was a natural extension of the user-generated content newsgathering team, which specialises in the verification of material posted on social media and regularly encounters misleading content. The Fact Check team was created to give an outlet for this information and to respond to a growing awareness of the threat posed by misinformation.

2. Reuters Fact Check comprises of one head of fact-checking, regional fact-checking leads (currently in the US, Mexico, the UK and Bangalore, where Reuters has a business hub), sixteen fact-checking producers (some staff and some freelance). The team receives additional reporting, editing, legal and business support from many other teams within Reuters News.

3. Reuters Fact Check is purely focused on the identification, research and publishing of articles relating to claims appearing on digital platforms.

4. Reuters Fact Check aims to publish in more regions and languages, respond even more closely to concerns and confusion detected in the regions we serve and further make use of its extensive body of fact-checks to identify patterns and recurring issues.

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Compliant in all four areas this section addresses. I reviewed various pages of the Reuters Fact Check site as well as Reuters news website to understand more about its seed and current operation. 

It's "About Reuters Fact Check" page lists a number of key areas relevant to its work and this assessment. The page is here: https://www.reuters.com/fact-check/about


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

1. Wednesday, April 14, 2021: The FBI did not reply to a Sky News tweet about Prince Andrew https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-fbi-twitter/fact-check-the-fbi-did-not-reply-to-a-sky-news-tweet-about-prince-andrew-idUSL1N2M71XQ

2. Tuesday, April 20, 2021: Derek Chauvin did not have his hand in his pocket while kneeling on George Floyd https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-chauvin-pocket/fact-check-derek-chauvin-did-not-have-his-hand-in-his-pocket-while-kneeling-on-george-floyd-idUSL1N2MD1SD

3. Thursday, April 29, 2021: Memphis police have not stopped responding to car thefts, other crimes https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-memphis-police/fact-check-memphis-police-have-not-stopped-responding-to-car-thefts-other-crimes-idUSL1N2MM1YC

4. Tuesday, May 4, 2021: Red Cross is accepting plasma from people vaccinated against COVID-19 https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-redcross-vaccinated/fact-check-red-cross-is-accepting-plasma-from-people-vaccinated-against-covid-19-idUSL1N2MR1HU

5. Tuesday, May 11, 2021: Widely shared footage shows Indian villagers clashing with police who tried to shut Hindu festival

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-india-covid/fact-check-widely-shared-footage-shows-indian-villagers-clashing-with-police-who-tried-to-shut-hindu-festival-idUSL1N2MY0O3

6. Monday, May 17, 2021: 'Magnet test' does not prove COVID-19 jabs contain metal or a microchip https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-vaccine/fact-check-magnet-test-does-not-prove-covid-19-jabs-contain-metal-or-a-microchip-idUSL2N2N41KA

7. Tuesday, May 25, 2021: Electromagnetic field reader test does not prove COVID-19 vaccine emits radiation https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-emf-covid19-vaccine/fact-check-electromagnetic-field-reader-test-does-not-prove-covid-19-vaccine-emits-radiation-idUSL2N2NC0LL

8. Tuesday, June 1, 2021: Life insurance will not be denied to those who receive COVID-19 vaccines https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-life-insurance-vaccine/fact-check-life-insurance-will-not-be-denied-to-those-who-receive-covid-19-vaccines-idUSL2N2NJ2FP

9. Tuesday, June 8, 2021: These four leaders were not killed for opposing COVID-19 vaccination https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-africa-leaders/fact-check-these-four-leaders-were-not-killed-for-opposing-covid-19-vaccination-idUSL2N2NP2SW

10. Friday, June 18, 2021: No evidence the number of vaccine deaths will rival the number of COVID deaths https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-vaers-rival/fact-check-no-evidence-the-number-of-vaccine-deaths-will-rival-the-number-of-covid-deaths-idUSL2N2O01XU

11. Thursday, June 24, 2021: Childhood vaccines and Tide Pods detergent do not share 16 common ingredients https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-childhood-vaccine-tide-pods/fact-check-childhood-vaccines-and-tide-pods-detergent-do-not-share-16-common-ingredients-idUSL2N2O62IQ

12. Tuesday, June 29, 2021: The World Economic Forum did not tweet in support of lowering the age of consent to 13 https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-wef-tweet/fact-check-the-world-economic-forum-did-not-tweet-in-support-of-lowering-the-age-of-consent-to-13-idUSL2N2OB1HM

13. Thursday, July 8, 2021: Make-A-Wish Foundation is not only granting wishes to fully vaccinated children https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-makeawish-vaccinated/fact-check-make-a-wish-foundation-is-not-only-granting-wishes-to-fully-vaccinated-children-idUSL2N2OK1GX

14. Thursday, July 15, 2021: Story about a death row inmate is not about model Jeremy Meeks https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-jeremy-meeks-picture/fact-check-story-about-a-death-row-inmate-is-not-about-model-jeremy-meeks-idUSL1N2OR1Y4

15. Tuesday, July 20, 2021: Widely shared photo does not show 2021 protests in France; it shows FIFA World Cup celebrations in 2018 https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-france-worldcup/fact-check-widely-shared-photo-does-not-show-2021-protests-in-france-it-shows-fifa-world-cup-celebrations-in-2018-idUSL1N2OW0WN

16. Wednesday, July 28, 2021: Video of self-assembling wires shows a physics experiment and has nothing to do with graphene oxide, nor COVID-19 vaccines https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-vaccine-idUSL1N2P41QO

17. Monday, August 2, 2021: COVID-19 cases in Iceland are not proof that vaccines are ineffective https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-iceland-vaccines/fact-check-covid-19-cases-in-iceland-are-not-proof-that-vaccines-are-ineffective-idUSL1N2P918F

18. Tuesday, August 10, 2021: Simone Biles wheelchair comment originated from satirical website https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-biles-quotation-wheelchair/fact-check-simone-biles-wheelchair-comment-originated-from-satirical-website-idUSL1N2PH1E6

19. Tuesday, August 17, 2021: 2013 Philippines photo mislabeled as if showing military evacuation from Kabul https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-phillipines-plane/fact-check-2013-philippines-photo-mislabeled-as-if-showing-military-evacuation-from-kabul-idUSL1N2PO1L6

20. Tuesday, August 24, 2021: Photograph does not show checks at Kabul airport; image was taken in Yemen in 2015 https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-photo-yemen/fact-check-photograph-does-not-show-checks-at-kabul-airport-image-was-taken-in-yemen-in-2015-idUSL1N2PV1RS

21. Wednesday, September 1, 2021: Photo shows 16 service members who died in a Mississippi plane crash in 2017 https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-16-servicemen/fact-check-photo-shows16-service-members-who-died-in-a-mississippi-plane-crash-in-2017-idUSL1N2Q310O

22. Wednesday, September 8, 2021: No evidence Frida Kahlo said popular online quote to her husband https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-fridakahlo-quote/fact-check-no-evidence-frida-kahlo-said-popular-online-quote-to-her-husband-idUSL1N2QA2I2

23. Wednesday, September 15, 2021: Footage of several blasts in a village is fictional, not related to Myanmar clashes https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-notmyanmar-tvshow/fact-check-footage-of-several-blasts-in-a-village-is-fictional-not-related-to-myanmar-clashes-idUSL1N2QH1K6

24. Friday, September 24, 2021: Croatia’s president did not halt the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-croatia-idUSL1N2QQ1IB

25. Tuesday, September 28, 2021: These men are not the Taliban’s spokesperson https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-afghanistan-taliban/fact-check-these-men-are-not-the-talibans-spokesperson-idUSL1N2QU1ZT

26. Thursday, September 30, 2021: Report about Australian hospitals overrun with victims of police brutality is satire https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-australia/fact-check-report-about-australian-hospitals-overrun-with-victims-of-police-brutality-is-satire-idUSL1N2QW1LA

27. Monday, October 4, 2021: PCR tests are highly accurate, Delta variant is determined through genomic sequencing https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-pcr-delta/fact-check-rt-pcr-tests-are-highly-accurate-delta-variant-is-determined-through-genomic-sequencing-idUSL1N2R029V

28. Thursday, October 14, 2021: Video of baby with birth defects is from 2019, unrelated to COVID-19 vaccines https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-baby-defects/fact-check-video-of-baby-with-birth-defects-is-from-2019-unrelated-to-covid-19-vaccines-idUSL1N2RA1OO

29. Tuesday, October 19, 2021: Climate change is not a cover-up for humans intentionally controlling the weather https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-climate-weather/fact-check-climate-change-is-not-a-cover-up-for-humans-intentionally-controlling-the-weather-idUSL1N2RF1U8

30. Friday, October 29, 2021: Vaccinated people in Britain are not dying at a higher rate than the unvaccinated https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-britain/fact-check-vaccinated-people-in-britain-are-not-dying-at-a-higher-rate-than-the-unvaccinated-idUSL1N2RP28I

31. Monday, November 1, 2021: Japan has not abandoned its COVID-19 vaccine rollout in favor of ivermectin https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-japan/fact-check-japan-has-not-abandoned-its-covid-19-vaccine-rollout-in-favour-of-ivermectin-idUSL1N2RS1NO

32. Monday, November 8, 2021: Social media posts inflate number of Astroworld concert deaths https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-astroworld-concert/fact-check-social-media-posts-inflate-number-of-astroworld-concert-deaths-idUSL1N2RZ2A3

33. Thursday, November 18, 2021: Tesco's Christmas advert was not removed due to backlash over it showing a vaccinated Santa Claus https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-christmas-idUSL1N2S925Q

34. Wednesday, November 24, 2021: German doctor’s death used to make false claims about COVID-19 vaccines https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-germany-idUSL1N2SF2DI

35. Monday, November 29, 2021: No evidence COVID-19 vaccines are linked to athletes collapsing or dying from myocarditis https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-sport/fact-check-no-evidence-covid-19-vaccines-are-linked-to-athletes-collapsing-or-dying-from-myocarditis-idUSL1N2SK160

36. Tuesday, December 7, 2021: There is no dial-in live audio feed of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-maxwelltrial-dialin-idUSL1N2SS22D

37. Thursday, December 16, 2021: Story about California store owner pricing items for $951 originated from a satire article https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-california-store/fact-check-story-about-california-store-owner-pricing-items-for-951-originated-from-a-satire-article-idUSL1N2T121B

38. Thursday, December 23, 2021: List of ‘108 FIFA soccer players’ is not proof of a common link between COVID-19 vaccines and athlete deaths https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-sport-idUSL1N2T81NY

39. Monday, December 27, 2021: ‘Post-pandemic stress disorder’ not caused by COVID-19 vaccines https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-ppsd/fact-check-post-pandemic-stress-disorder-not-caused-by-covid-19-vaccines-idUSL1N2TC0RO

40. Thursday, January 6, 2022: Transfermarkt data is not guaranteed to be complete and does not serve as proof of adverse reactions to vaccines https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-sport-transfermarkt-idUSL1N2TM0KZ

41. Wednesday, January 12, 2022: No teenagers died in Britain's Blyth or Cramlington after vaccination https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-britain/fact-check-no-teenagers-died-in-britains-blyth-or-cramlington-after-vaccination-idUSL1N2TS1YB

42. Thursday, January 20, 2022: The Metropolitan Police has not opened a criminal investigation into Britain’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-britain/fact-check-the-metropolitan-police-has-not-opened-a-criminal-investigation-into-britains-covid-19-vaccine-rollout-idUSL1N2U00Q8

43. Wednesday, January 26, 2022: Death of French rugby player Jordan Michallet not caused by COVID-19 vaccine https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-sport-france-idUSL1N2U61Y9

44. Thursday, February 3, 2022: Surgeon’s claims about natural and vaccine immunity to COVID-19 lack context https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-britain-idUSL1N2UE1SI

45. Tuesday, February 8, 2022: Claim of tens of thousands of vaccine-related EU deaths is based on a misreading of data https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-eu-idUSL1N2UJ0SH

46. Friday, February 18, 2022: No evidence of lithium in COVID-19 test swabs https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-swabs/fact-check-no-evidence-of-lithium-in-covid-19-test-swabs-idUSL1N2UT0R6

47. Thursday, February 24, 2022: Video of planes flying in formation dates from at least 2020, not the 2022 invasion of Ukraine https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-ukraine-russia-idUSL1N2UZ1U7

48. Thursday, March 3, 2022: Photo shows Kyiv’s Independence Square during 2014 anti-government protests, not the 2022 conflict in Ukraine https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-ukraine-kyiv-idUSL2N2V61XA

49. Thursday, March 10, 2022: Video shows 2014 French drama film set in Chechnya, not real war footage https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-movie-chechnya-idUSL2N2VD1Y8

50. Monday, March 14, 2022: Ukraine’s medical forces commander mistaken for deceased physician Inna Derusova https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-ukraine-doctor/fact-check-ukraines-medical-forces-commander-mistaken-for-deceased-physician-inna-derusova-idUSL2N2VH2WH

51. Wednesday, March 23, 2022: No evidence swimmer Reka Gyorgy tweeted that trans athlete Lia Thomas stole her NCAA finals spot https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-sport-swimming/fact-check-no-evidence-swimmer-reka-gyorgy-tweeted-that-trans-athlete-lia-thomas-stole-her-ncaa-finals-spot-idUSL2N2VQ0PU

52. Tuesday, March 29, 2022: Berlin sex worker group not ‘recruiting’ Ukrainian refugees https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-berlin-refugees-idUSL2N2VW1MJ

53. Wednesday, April 6, 2022: No proven link between COVID-19 vaccines and aphasia https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-aphasia-vaccine/fact-check-no-proven-link-between-covid-19-vaccines-and-aphasia-idUSL2N2W41E5

54. Thursday, April 14, 2022: Image of crowd was not taken during first gathering since Pakistan’s former prime minister was ousted from parliament https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-gathering-peshawar/fact-check-image-of-crowd-was-not-taken-during-first-gathering-since-pakistans-former-prime-minister-was-ousted-from-parliament-idUSL2N2WC1TR

55. Wednesday, April 20, 2022: No evidence Ukrainian President Zelenskiy is a billionaire https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-ukraine-zelenskiy/fact-check-no-evidence-ukrainian-president-zelenskiy-is-a-billionaire-idUSL2N2WI1ES 

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Reuters has published the required minimum number of fact checks during the designated period. I have confirmed this through a random review of the links provided as well as by reviewing and reading its website. 


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)


Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I reviewed the following three fact checks to determine compliance. For these, and for others listed below in other criteria, I have looked at both methodology and sourcing. More detailed explanations of fact checks published over the last 12 months will be included below.  

May 5, 2022: Screenshots do not show Pfizer declaring vaccines unsafe

April 28, 2022: Fabricated Twitter exchange between Trump and Elon Musk resurfaces

March 29, 2022: Old doctored video of Obama making speech in Turkey resurfaces



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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

Reuters News is part of Thomson Reuters Corp - a provider of news and information-based tools to professionals. Thomson Reuters has commercial contracts with governments. Thomson Reuters has not received funding or support from state or political actors.

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Reuters Fact Check explains online that it is a part of Reuters, which is part of the Thomson Reuters umbrella. None receive funding from political parties or state actors, although Thomson Reuters does note and explain online that it has commercial contracts with governments. 

For more information, here's a quick look from Thomson Reuters legal department. It explains more about an annual conference where these relationships/contracts are specified: https://legal.thomsonreuters.com/en/events/government-contracts


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

Not applicable.

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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

1. Fact Check-Marjorie Taylor Greene did clap during Zelenskiy’s address to U.S. Congress

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-mtg-clap/fact-check-marjorie-taylor-greene-did-clap-during-zelenskiys-address-to-u-s-congress-idUSL2N2VL1WL

Despite Marjorie Taylor Greene having spoken out against Zelenskiy on different occasions this year, claims online that she refused to clap during his address to U.S. Congress were false. Reuters provided video links to moments during his address where she did indeed clap. A moment in his introduction when she was looking for her phone and did not clap was taken out of context by users on social media.


2. Fact Check-Image purporting to show statement released by former President Donald Trump calling Mike Pence weak on Feb. 4, 2022, is fake

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-donald-trump-mike-pence/fact-check-image-purporting-to-show-statement-released-by-former-president-donald-trump-calling-mike-pence-weak-on-feb-4-2022-is-fake-idUSL1N2UJ1OL

A communique made to appear as if officially from Trump’s press team fooled social media users. It was made by a comedian that Reuters had debunked in the past, for similar deceptive false posters in the name of satire, but where the joke was lost on readers. While his reps did not respond to our requests for comment, we were able to trace the imposter poster back to the comedian and provided links to what Trump did in fact say about Mike Pence in a Feb. 5 statement.



3. Fact Check-U.S. President Joe Biden was not asked about giving a hit list to the Taliban in press conference https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-biden-hitlist/fact-check-u-s-president-joe-biden-was-not-asked-about-giving-a-hit-list-to-the-taliban-in-press-conference-idUSL1N2RP2GY

This article was an example of us searching through available public statements made by the President and sticking plainly to what we know and don’t know, and what we hear and don’t hear in the available recordings of Biden speaking on the matter. Throughout the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, unproven claims and partisan arguments filled online conversations, but we remained neutral and reported on the facts regarding what we know or did not know Biden publicly said.



4. Fact Check-Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene did not say ‘people are dying who have never died before’

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-marjorie-taylor-greene-quote/fact-check-rep-marjorie-taylor-greene-did-not-say-people-are-dying-who-have-never-died-before-idUSL2N2NR21E

False quotes attributed to politicians are rife in the misinformation climate in which we operate. One such tweet this year was claiming Marjorie Taylor Greene said, “People are dying who have never died before.” We found no evidence she ever said this on Twitter or in a database that collects politicians’ deleted tweets. Her reps confirmed it was fabricated. Reuters had also debunked a near identical quote misattributed to Biden and Trump.



5. Fact Check-Old fabricated Ocasio-Cortez tweet about hurricanes and electric cars

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-aoc-faketweethurricane/fact-check-old-fabricated-ocasio-cortez-tweet-about-hurricanes-and-electric-cars-idUSL1N2Q51ZF

On the other end of the political spectrum, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has oftentimes been the subject of misinformation. In September, as Hurricane Ida struck the U.S., an old fake tweet attributed to AOC resurfaced: “I saw people are rushing out to fill up their cars for this hurricane at the gas station This wouldn’t be an issue if they had electric cars. If the power is out for a week how are they going to get gas? We need to start planning ahead and moving forward.” We found no evidence she ever said this on Twitter or in a database that collects politicians’ deleted tweets. AOC addressed the quote and confirmed it was false in 2019. The claim speaks to a tense climate around environmental and energy policy in Washington, with lawmakers clashing on legislation like the Green New Deal. As ever, we stuck to the facts of the case here, and more broadly can rely on the depth of neutral Reuters reporting on environmental policy.



6. Fact check: The causes for Texas’ blackout go well beyond wind turbines

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-texas-wind-turbines-explain/fact-check-the-causes-for-texas-blackout-go-well-beyond-wind-turbines-idUSKBN2AJ2EI

During a historic cold snap that left millions of Texans for days without electricity, water, and heat, claims that the state’s use of renewable energy sources, specifically wind energy, are to blame circulated on television and social media. These claims are misleading, as they shift blame for the crisis away from what appears, so far, to be the root cause: record cold temperatures that affected generation and transportation across all fuel types (including, but not limited to, wind energy), combined with the inability of the state’s independent and isolated electricity grid (operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT) to source supplies from elsewhere. We tried to explain plainly and clearly the real, diverse causes of the phenomenon, which had been oversimplified or politicized on social media. Our neutral and expansive Reuters reporting on environmental and energy policy was useful, as was our coverage out of Texas.



7. Fact Check-Social media claims that masks delay children’s speech development are missing context

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-masks-child-speech-development/fact-check-social-media-claims-that-masks-delay-childrens-speech-development-are-missing-context-idUSL1N2U62CO

Claims on social media that mask mandates have triggered an over 350% surge in childhood speech development delays were missing context: they stemmed from the referrals witnessed in one Florida clinic only, and experts consulted by Reuters said there was yet no significant evidence to confirm masks cause speech development delays in children. This check required us to reach out to experts to understand what we do and don’t know about potential harm caused to children by mask wearing – an issue easily skewed by political agendas. We clearly outlined what is known so far, but also pulled in other issues/how the pandemic has negatively impacted children in other ways.



8. Fact Check-How Haitian migrants make their way to the U.S. border

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-haiti-route/fact-check-how-haitian-migrants-make-their-way-to-the-u-s-border-idUSL1N2QQ1XB

Immigration is another topic that is easily politicized or misconstrued online. In this fact check, we explained, without opinion or expressing judgement, what led to posts insinuating that Haitian migrants were sponsored by occult forces in their journey to the United States. The truth is more complicated: their travel routes, in fact, are not a straight line to the U.S. by sea, but rather most come after spending time in Central and South America.



9. Fact Check-TikTok video showing how to work Russian military tanks predates invasion

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-tiktok-tank/fact-check-tiktok-video-showing-how-to-work-russian-military-tanks-predates-invasion-idUSL1N2V520P

The Russia-Ukraine war that began in late February 2022 brought an intense set of challenges and dubious claims, and pushed us more than ever to be extremely thorough, neutral and careful in our reporting. We have shown our freedom from bias by exercising extreme caution with claims from the conflict and going to extra lengths to pursue verification. This example was being shared by users saying it was a Ukrainian tutorial on how to operate Russian tanks. The video, however, predated the conflict by about a year, and was made by a blogger who appeared to be Russian: we scoured her account until we found a video where her passport and driver’s license (both Russian) are visible.



10. Fact Check-El INE asegura que no está retirando credenciales de voto en domicilios para la consulta de revocación de mandato en México

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-revocacionmandato-ine/fact-check-el-ine-asegura-que-no-est-retirando-credenciales-de-voto-en-domicilios-para-la-consulta-de-revocacin-de-mandato-en-mxico-idUSL2N2VJ3EY

Finishing the selection is an example out of Mexico, one of the countries in which we also publish fact checks. The team investigated claims put forth by a former politician that multiple people had said the National Electoral Institute was gremoving people’s voting ID’s. The team first asked the Institute for comment and clarification. It said ID removal was only taking place among people who requested a new ID due to expiration. But we didn’t stop at the institute’s statement. Reuters approached the former politician who made the claims for clarification, and she shared the names of the people who reportedly were proof of this claim. Reuters contacted these two users, one did not respond, another said they had made no such claim. Reuters also reached out to multiple other users who were listed in a separate YouTube video flagged by the former politician as further evidence. Nobody responded confirming her claims. 

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I reviewed nearly two dozen fact checks for this assessment; some of these were links included in the application, and others were those I found through my own review. 

Fact checks do not unfairly focus on claims by any one organization, political entity, or partisan outfit. 

Methodology, nonpartisanship (see section 2.5), and sources Reuters Fact Check use show its commitment to evidence-based evaluation of information. These will be more fully addressed in later sections of this assessment.



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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is clearly articulated, and Reuters addresses both how and why it selects material to fact check. 

As an example, on the Reuters page provided in the application, its methodology (screen shot of the full explanation is included) says, "We actively seek out groups and accounts that represent opposing viewpoints and apply the same standards of assessment to all content." 

I have listed below the date, headline, a one-line explainer related to partisanship and "verdict" to use a Reuters' term from a number of randomly selected fact checks to demonstrate compliance in these areas related to fairness and nonpartisanship. 

Files Attached
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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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

June 18, 2021 No evidence the number of vaccine deaths will rival the number of COVID deaths

Notes original claims about the vaccine, largely politicized, came from Infowars described as a "crackpot" website. 

VERDICT

False. The death toll from the COVID-19 virus passed 600,000 people as of publication. The CDC received 5,208 reports of deaths of people who received the vaccine between Dec. 14, 2020 and June 7, 2021, but these reports can be submitted by anybody and do not prove causality.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here .         


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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

May 9, 2022 Tennessee bill on abortion medication did not ban or criminalize ‘Plan B’

Claims widely circulated about inaccurate information about the Republican governor's actions related to abortion drugs v. emergency contraception. 

VERDICT

False. A recently signed bill in Tennessee did not ban or criminalize emergency contraception pills. The regulation increased criminal penalties for providers of abortion medication that distribute them via mail.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Related to nonpartisanship, under its Political and Community Activity Policy section of its website, Reuters states: "Displays of political affiliation or support for partisan causes have no place in our newsrooms. No member of editorial, whether a journalist or support worker, may wear campaign buttons, badges or items of clothing bearing political slogans on the job, nor bring posters, pamphlets and other political material to the workplace to distribute or display." Its policy is attached. 

Sourcing as evidence of nonpartisanship will be addressed in other sections of this assessment related to individual fact checks posted online.                                                                                                 

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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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

For the criteria in Section 3, I note that I used the date and the headline of the fact check under review. Then, I used a one or two sentence explanation. At the end of each, I list the sources used in the fact check. I note that for all of these, I reviewed the source material, which ranged from video footage to transcripts to weigh the fact check.

March 29, 2022 Old doctored video of Obama making speech in Turkey resurfaces

Right away, Reuters Fact Check calls the video "manipulated." To debunk the deep fake it used the following sources: An original "spoof" video from 2010, which tells users it's "just for fun." Reuters also found the original footage that the spoof was from; it was from an April 2009 visit to Turkey. 

Sources: White House footage and transcript of that Turkey event; the spoof itself. 


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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Sept. 24, 2021 How Haitian migrants make their way to the U.S. border

Reuters explained: "Comments indicate users are suspicious or do not understand how the migrants make their way from Haiti to the U.S. border. One user wrote, 'Sponsored…. And corruption by the Mexican authorities &$&& mucho dinero!! Who put $$$ ? The ones who want the USA destroyed…' while another wrote, 'They flew them there.'"

The verdict here is that the social posts are missing important context on the migrants. 

Sources: NBC News video of the migrant journey; Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization; France24; USA Today; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Spokesperson for Central America and Mexico; RAICES



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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

July 20, 2021 Widely shared photo does not show 2021 protests in France; it shows FIFA World Cup celebrations in 2018

Why it was chosen by Reuters: "One individual who shared the image said: “Wow the anti [vaccine] protests in France are huge!” (here)." Reuters determined the photo is not from 2021, but rather, from four years' ago FIFA World Cup celebrations. 

Sources: Getty image photo archive; Reuters photography


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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

June 24, 2021 Childhood vaccines and Tide Pods detergent do not share 16 common ingredients

Why it was chosen: "A meme on social media claiming that childhood vaccines share 16 of the 27 ingredients in Tide Pods is false." This is a good example of Reuters commitment to addressing misinformation in the health spheres that has real implications for people's lives. This is evidence of its alignment with IFCN principles which state organizations should, "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."

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Smart Label organization; FDA spokesperson


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

Reuters Fact Check is the fact-checking unit of Reuters News. All fact checks are therefore published on the Reuters News website, Reuters.com, and a link to Reuters Fact Check is visible on the Reuters.com homepage (see bottom under “About Reuters”).

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

That Reuters Fact Check is part of Reuters News is clearly labeled online and, in my opinion, it would be clear to anyone reading/using the site. 

I have attached a screen shot of the Reuters Fact Check website footer, which shows links to Reuters News (with an explanation of what Reuters is) as well as a description of its relationship to Thomson Reuters. 

Moreover, the Reuters Fact Check site is embedded as part of the larger Reuters News website, which to me is clear evidence of the relationship.  


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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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

This information is carried on the footer of the Reuters.com website: "Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV." It includes a link to the Thomson Reuters home page (https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en.html) from which visitors can access the latest Annual Report, which contains extensive information about the company. 

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is labeled and, like its larger structure, would be clear to anyone reading/using the site. I have mentioned this in other sections of this assessment and screen shots of this footer that explains the relationship are also included. 

This is labeled and, like its larger structure, would be clear to anyone reading/using the site. I have mentioned this in other sections of this assessment and screen shots of this footer that explains the relationship are also included.

Here, I have attached the FUNDING section from its ABOUT REUTERS FACT CHECK page. 

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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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

The Editorial Leadership team at Reuters is listed here: https://www.reutersagency.com/en/about/leadership-team/

Editorial control of Reuters Fact Check is explained here: https://www.reuters.com/fact-check/about 

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Under its About Reuters Fact Check page, which I reviewed, Reuters Fact Check lists its head and mission as an organization. Its website reads, "The principal aim of this unit is to fact-check visual material and claims posted on social media. The fact checking producers in this unit report their findings on a section of the Reuters.com website."

Its section on staff reads: "The unit is led by Hazel Baker, Global Head of UGC Newsgathering at Reuters, who has editorial control of output, with the support of other senior editors at Reuters. Hazel joined Reuters in 2017 and prior to that was digital newsgathering editor for Sky News, UK. Hazel holds a Master’s degree in Online Journalism from the University of Central Lancashire. Further information about the wider editorial leadership at Reuters is available here:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-reuters-editorial-leadership/reuters-editorial-leadership-idUSKBN1KE2SD"


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

Biographies of the Editorial Leadership team at Reuters can be accessed here: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-reuters-editorial-leadership-idUSKBN1KE2SD

Reuters does not include bylines or further biographies of the Reuters Fact Check team for reasons of their personal security.

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Its leadership head of newsgathering mentioned above in 4.3, is clearly labeled. However, its staff is not. 

I can understand why and that Reuters does not list bylines or biographies of its fact check staff as the harassment and threats to fact check team members are widely documented, even resulting in IFCN creating a working group in 2021 because of the severity and growth. 

But, the IFCN Code of Principles has a commitment to transparency including transparency of those who conduct and follow through on this important work. I do not believe that writing "Reuters Fact Check comprises of a team of dedicated journalists, which is growing" on its site fulfills this important criteria of the Code. 


cancel 4.4 marked as Request change by Margot Susca.
Margot Susca Assessor
07-Jul-2022 (1 year ago)

Its leadership head of newsgathering mentioned above in 4.3 is clearly labeled. 

I can understand why and that Reuters does not list bylines or biographies of its fact check staff as the harassment and threats to fact check team members are widely documented, even resulting in IFCN creating a working group in 2021 because of the severity and growth. 



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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

This information is found here: https://www.reuters.com/fact-check/about

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The Reuters Fact Check site clealy has a subhead labeled CONTACT. Its section reads: 

"You may contact the fact-checking unit at Reuters if you have suggestions of content to fact-check, if you have any disputes over our fact-checking work or if you wish to give general feedback.

The email for these types of contact is: reutersfactcheck@thomsonreuters.com

Suggestions: please send a link to the relevant social media post(s). Reuters is only able to check claims presented as facts, rather than expressions of opinion, and we look for topics which are relevant to the general public. Claims that include information from anonymous sources may be impossible for us to tackle. We may not be able to reply to every email with suggestions, but we value your input.

Disputes: if you have read one of our fact-checks and you think it is inaccurate, please get in touch as soon as possible, writing in the subject line “dispute”. You should summarize why you think our fact check is inaccurate, and include links to supporting evidence if possible.

Feedback: you are welcome to contact us using the email above if you have any other questions or comments regarding our work."

To close this criteria, I sent an email to the email address listed online (reutersfactcheck@thomsonreuters.com) at 11:41 a.m. EST on Thursday, May 5. I note that a response is not required as part of the application or assessment, but I received confirmation less than 24 hours later. This shows me that Reuters has a functional system set up for the public to communicate with its editorial team. I have included a screen shot of its Contact page where I found the aforementioned email address.

Files Attached
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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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Its methodology is clearly stated and explained, and its opening sentences of this section online say: "The principles of integrity, independence, and freedom from bias guide all journalism at Reuters. We approach social media fact-checking work in the same manner. Reuters Fact Check monitors digital platforms for misinformation that is linked to news events and to subjects that are being discussed by the communities we serve. We actively seek out groups and accounts that represent opposing viewpoints and apply the same standards of assessment to all content."

It explains 1) how and why a subject may be of interest; 2) could misinformation on that subject lead to actual harm; 3) does it have the potential to further spread; and key to fact checking claims 4) can a fact be discerned from an opinion and isolated as such using an origin or evidence to support or to debunk the claim.

Furthermore, on  methodology, it notes: "We then aim to fully uncover the foundations of those claims, firstly by attempting to identify the origin of the information. In many cases, the original source of a given claim cannot be established, but in cases where a potential source is identified, Reuters Fact Check will ask that source for additional information and comment as required. We look for evidence relevant to the claim – both supportive or otherwise - and consult experts. Reuters Fact Check names its sources and gathers links to publicly viewable material wherever possible."                                                                                                   


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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

April 28, 2022 Fabricated Twitter exchange between Trump and Elon Musk resurfaces

Right away, Reuters lets readers/users know that there is an issue writing, "Following Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter Inc, a years-old fabricated tweet attributed to the billionaire has resurfaced online." 

Methodology: Use of the Trump's archived tweets; advanced search of Twitter 


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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

March 10. 2022 Video shows 2014 French drama film set in Chechnya, not real war footage

Again, Reuters is clear right away that there is a problem with falsified or misrepresented social media. In this one, they open writing: "Social media users are sharing a video of a man and woman being shot, claiming it shows Ukrainian military violence against civilians in Chechnya. The clip, however, is from a 2014 French film by an Oscar-winning director."

Methodology: They set out to explain how they found the clip using film databases; Reuters shows where the clip is in a video online from the film


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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

February 8, 2022 Image purporting to show statement released by former President Donald Trump calling Mike Pence weak on Feb. 4, 2022 is fake

Here, you can see the steps taken to show that Trump did NOT write this and tweets on his official letterhead were doctored but still widely shared. This is the methodology taken from the fact check online: 

The statement is not viewable on Trump’s website (www.donaldjtrump.com/news) nor did Reuters find any news reports of the alleged statement. Instead, a Google search shows the image viewable on a meme-sharing platform (archive.is/wip/KZzDg).

A web archive version of the website on Feb. 4, 2022, does not reveal the statement (here), (here).

The alleged statement shared by online users was not shared on Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington’s Twitter account (twitter.com/realLizUSA) nor did a Twitter advanced search reveal any such statement posted on Harrington’s Twitter account (archive.is/wip/lGJLm).

Trump did indeed release a statement mentioning the former Vice President on Feb 5, and it can be viewed (here).

---^ please note that where (here) is, Reuters Fact Check links to original source material or other relevant information. 


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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

May 5, 2022 Screenshots do not show Pfizer declaring vaccines unsafe

Why Reuters examined the claim: "Social media users are sharing screenshots of a document with parts of its text underlined and circled in red, including “COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 is not recommended during pregnancy” and: “It is unknown whether the COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 is excreted in human milk” (here, here and here)."

Reuters explained it used and compared the viral misinformation against Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which did not say they were unsafe, just that it had not been studied. The MHRA has since been updated, and Reuters said it contacted its spokesperon who explained the new data and agency's assessment based on that new data. It supplemented its fact check with a review of other health agencies including the CDC as well as information from the UK Health Security Agency. 


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

Reuters Fact Check explains on its about page (https://www.reuters.com/fact-check/about) that readers are invited to send in suggestions, disputes and general feedback. We have written the following:

Suggestions: please send a link to the relevant social media post(s). Reuters is only able to check claims presented as facts, rather than expressions of opinion, and we look for topics which are relevant to the general public. Claims that include information from anonymous sources may be impossible for us to tackle. We may not be able to reply to every email with suggestions, but we value your input.

Disputes: if you have read one of our fact-checks and you think it is inaccurate, please get in touch as soon as possible, writing in the subject line “dispute”. You should summarize why you think our fact check is inaccurate, and include links to supporting evidence if possible.

Feedback: you are welcome to contact us using the email above if you have any other questions or comments regarding our work.

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is clear about what is and isn't fact checkable, and the site would be easy to use for any person wishing to make contact about a problem or issue. 

It notes online that its principal aim is: "to fact check visual material and claims posted on social media." In a separate section, it explains: "Reuters is only able to check claims presented as facts, rather than expressions of opinion, and we look for topics which are relevant to the general public."


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Reuters is compliant in its criteria related to corrections. I can confirm through a review of both its corrections policy as well as the application of the corrections policy that Reuters Fact Check has definitions for what its policy does and does not address; staff are open to hearing from the audience about the need for a correction; and that Reuters parent has and follows its own corrections policy. Its full corrections policy is here:

“Reuters is honest about errors. We rectify them promptly and clearly. We do not disguise or bury mistakes in subsequent updates or stories.

Readers are invited to contact us via email (reutersfactcheck@thomsonreuters.com) to advise us of any errors or dispute the material presented. We will review all matters raised in correspondence, but we will not be able to reply to all emails noting minor issues or a disputing the findings of a check without supplying supporting evidence.

The Reuters fact-checking unit strives to provide accurate, unbiased reporting at all times. In the event that we make an error, or new information comes to light that changes our understanding of the subject, we will make a correction, a refile or an update.

If a fact check contains substantive, factual error, we will issue a correction. An advisory line will be placed at the top of the article to explain what is being corrected. The correction will then be made in the body of the article and, if necessary, reflected in the headline and verdict of the check. The corrected fact check will appear at the top of the fact check home page.

If a fact check contains a minor error, such as a misspelling, that has no bearing on the understanding of the article, we will issue a refile. An advisory will be placed at the top of the article to explain what has been corrected. The correction will be made in the body of the article.

If we are made aware of additional information that does not contradict the existing information but instead gives further context or explanation of the subject discussed in the fact check, we will issue an update. An advisory line will be placed at the top of the article to explain what has been added. The updated check will appear at the top of the fact check homepage.”


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
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Reuters correction policy explains potential levels of errors and how it will address those from minor misspellings that may not alter its verdict to fact mistakes that could. 


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

Reuters Fact Check has openly corrected and updated checks whenever necessary over the past 12 months. Often this has been in response to useful input from readers, who have provided additional information or context, spotted mistakes or asked for further information about aspects they feel we may have missed.


1. (Correction/update) 'Magnet test' does not prove COVID-19 jabs contain metal or a microchip https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-vaccine-idUSL2N2N41KA

In an earlier version of this check, a quote from one of our public health experts explaining the workings of an MRI machine were disputed by a reader who was an expert specifically in this field. We talked this through with him and ultimately decided to remove the lines of explanation as they did not have any effect on the claim and/or verdict of the check. As is Reuters policy, we included a CORRECTION line to update readers of the change.


2. (Correction) Data from a study does not conclude that over 80% of pregnancies end in miscarriage after COVID-19 vaccinations; figures taken out of context

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-vaccine-pregnancy-idUSL1N2OX1WL

This was a complicated, but very viral claim, having to do with an early study of pregnant women and COVID-19 vaccination. A user wrote in noticing issues in the calculations we made around the total number of women in the study, and therefore, the miscarriage rate. We recalculated and spotted a small error, which we quickly corrected and updated our article to include at the very top the correct calculations and correct miscarriage rate. The overall message and point being argued by the article did not change. 

Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I reviewed the corrections issued from the two links provided, and I have included a screen shot from its May 17, 2021 "magnet" one. Reuters does not bury corrections and explains in detail what may have gone wrong. 

Files Attached
Screen Shot 2022-05-... (87 KB)
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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is clear. Reuters states it near the top of its About Reuters Fact Check page: "Reuters is a signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). The IFCN has a Code of Principles (https://www.ifcncodeofprinciples.poynter.org/know-more/the-commitments-of-the-code-of-principles). Readers of our fact-checks are invited to contact the IFCN if for any reason they feel Reuters Fact Check has acted in breach of this Code."


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.

Reuters
27-Apr-2022 (1 year ago)

The Reuters Handbook of Journalism and the agency’s Standards and Values can be seen here: https://www.reutersagency.com/en/about/standards-values/

Under integrity, it states:

“Dealing with complaints

Reuters’ reputation for getting it right and reporting it fairly is something we should be proud of. It is a key part of attracting and keeping clients. Sometimes we do get it wrong, and it is important for our reputation to fix it when we do. Responding promptly and properly to complaints that we have not been accurate, balanced or ethical can avoid what could become costly legal problems, or widespread bad publicity. Complaints from any quarter – a source, a client, a member of the public, or a colleague in another part of Reuters – must be investigated promptly so that immediate corrective action can be taken if it proves to be well founded. Complaints that cannot be immediately investigated must be acknowledged at once and followed up quickly. They should be handled at a senior level in the bureau or on the desk. When in doubt, escalate to Brian Moss or Alix Freedman in Ethics and Standards.

Remember throughout the process of dealing with complaints that attitude counts. Getting mad or sounding overtly hostile may only make the person raising an issue more determined to press forward and less inclined to listen to what we have to say. It may help if you try to think of what you’re hearing as feedback or constructive criticism, rather than simply a complaint.”

More on Reuters News' media correction policy in the document attached.

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description Criteria 6.5 (1).do... (25 KB)
Margot Susca Assessor
05-May-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This could be a model for news organizations. I have reviewed both Reuters and Reuters Fact Check policies and believe that both reveal the highest standards of journalism and fact checking are being met. 


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.