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.

Demagog.SK 2022

Organization: Slovak Governance Institute
Applicant: Veronika Prachárová
Assessor: Jan Indra

Background

Demagog SK is (to my knowledge) the only fact-checking organization in Slovakia. The country is currently in a political (and to a degree, social) turmoil, as it is facing preliminary parliamentary elections, the public has a fragmented attitude towards the war in Ukraine or, in the past years, towards the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting the government to even consider pushing through a law on disinformation due to its wide reach and profitability for websites and individuals spreading them. After the murder of the Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kušnírová, the country saw its largest public protests since the Velvet revolution, elected a new government on the promises of fighting corruption, however, chaotic leadership resulted in this government only lasting less then two years and throwing the country into a "state of disillusion".

In such a chaotic informational environment, it seems that there is more need than ever for an organization like Demagog to fact-check statements of politicans regardless of party affiliation and strive to provide the public with verified information. Although the current level of funding likely does not allow the project to hire a larger time full-time, encouraging young people to embrace critical thinking either through volunteering, internships or workshops can play a significant role in the Slovak public sphere.

I have had the opportunity to assess the project once before in 2020 and have recommended it to be accepted with several remarks regarding publishing volume or website completeness (funding, corrections).

Assessment Conclusion

I believe that Demagog SK deserves to be recommended as a signatory for its high-quality fact-checking with several remarks/request for changes the project websites and enforcing of its own Code of Ethics.

Specifically, the remarks described in detail within the assessment refer to:

  • an expansion of the corrections policy that would clearly describe the process
  • providing more information on ALL regular project team members
  • enforcing the Code of Ethics, specifically with respect to social media activity of team members and their vocal support of specific political parties or individuals

I believe all the requests stated within the assessment are possible for the Applicant to make and, pending these are satisifed, recommend it to be accepted.


RE-ASSESSMENT UPDATE

I have reviewed all the requested changes related to the application and believe the Applicant is now compliant in order to be accepted as a signatory.

The requested changes with respect to specific criteria concerned the Code of Ethics, the corrections policy, inviting audience to send in claims to fact-check and the biographies of core team members of the Applicant. The Applicant clearly took the recommendations of the Assessor into account and made adequate changes as requested with respect to specific criteria. One aspect that deserves due care in the next assessment process (pending re-application in the future) is the verification of compliance of the Applicant with its expanded Code of Ethics with respect to social media activity of its core team members (i.e. prohibition of any vocal support for specific political parties or politicians themselves).

on 07-Mar-2023 (11 months ago)

Jan Indra assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Demagog SK produkuje kvalitní fact-checking, který je založen na jasné metodologii, důsledné práci se zdroji a přehledné kontextualizaci konkrétních hodnocení. Vzhledem k faktu, že jde o jedinou fact-checkingovou organizaci v zemi, která do jisté míry čelí sociální i politické krizi, mám za to, že existence projektu je více než opodstatněná.

Mé jediné výhrady k přihlášce a projektu jako takovému se spíše než samotné kvalitě fact-checkingu a jeho metodologii vztahují k dalším aspektům webu projektu, který by dle mého měl být v několika oblastech částečně doplněn (informace o členech týmu, proces provádění oprav, popis výběru vyjádření na sociálních médiích). Hlavní výhradou je poté rozšíření či případná úprava Etického kodexu s ohledem na aktivitu členů projektového týmu na sociálních sítích, kde byla identifikována jistá míra politická angažovanosti, kterou přitom kodex sám v obecné rovině zakazuje.

Navzdory uvedeným výhradám nicméně veřím, že tyto mohou být napraveny, a projekt jako takový tak doporučuji k přijetí (s uvedenými výhradami).


DOPLNĚNÍ PO VYŽÁDÁNÍ ZMĚN

Demagog.sk vzal v potaz veškeré hlavní požadované změny a adekvátně doplnil své webové stránky. V současnosti tak organizaci doporučuji k přijetí, v případě dalšího procesu hodnocení nicméně doporučuji věnovat zvláštní pozornost zejména souladu s rozšířeným Etickým kodexem ve vztahu k aktivitě členů týmu na sociálních sítích.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)

Demagog.SK is a project by Slovak Governance Institute (Inštitút pre dobre spravovanú spoločnosť), a research non-governmental organization.

https://www.governance.sk/stanovy/

https://demagog.sk/o-nas

Footer of the website also includes the information about SGI.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Demagog.SK is not a stand-alone legal entity, however, it is a distinct project of the Slovak Governance Institute (ID (SK): 36070629), which is clearly listed on the project website (see attachment).

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf SCREENSHOT_Demagog_S... (439 KB)
done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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?

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)

1. Demagog.SK is factchecking politicians since 2010. Our goal was to confront the politicians taking part in TV debates with facts, as they had frequently based their arguments on claims that were not true.

2. The team consists of the head analyst responsible for the overall outcome, currently 5 junior analysts who are responsible for overseeing the work of interns (around 10 - 12 volunteers training in critical thinking and fact-checking).

3. In addition to factcheck, we do workshops for students and seniors in critical thinking. Recently we have started to record podcasts. Slovak Governance Institute, the organisation that Demagog.SK is a part of, focuses on research in the areas of good governance, transparency, and social inclusion. They also run the website and app “Odkaz pre starostu” or “Message to the Mayor” for easy digital communication between municipalities and citizens.

4. The main goal of Demagog.SK is to keep the political debate based on facts and evidence, and to point out any misleading or untrue claims that the politicians make. We believe that this is as vital as ever, as desinformation is more profound in the mainstream political debate. Over the coming year, we hope to tackle the increasing amount of desinformation spreading in the public space regarding the energy crisis and war in Ukraine.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

According to the project's website, none of the project team members work as full-time fact-checkers.

However, this is understandably most likely due to the question of funding as the project likely cannot afford to hire a full-time dedicated team and should not, in my opinion, be treated as a disqualifying criterion.

The project team currently consists of 8 analysts and 13 interns, structured as follows:

  • Veronika Hincová Frankovská – Project Manager and Chief Analyst
  • Pavol Lacko – Critical Thinking Lecturer

  • Kristína Janačková – Fact-Checker, currently studying at university
  • Tobiáš Janko – Fact-Checker, currently studying at university
  • Stanislav Baluch – Fact-Checker, currently studying at university
  • Timotej Kováčik – Fact-checker, no additional information
  • Kamila Kvasnicová – Fact-checker, no additional information
  • Pavol Valík – Fact-checker, no additional information

  • + 13 interns
This information is slightly different from what the Applicant has stated and the website should be updated accordingly. The team should also list bios of all team members beside interns and their photos of professional social media links (LinkedIn) would be welcome.

The educational activities of Demagog.sk go hand in hand with its fact-checking activity and I believe these two are complementary.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Demagog.SK publishes fact check once a week, one analysis of a TV debate containing usually over 20 factual claims made by politicians. In addition, we publish fact checks of politicians’ statements in social media. During the last 12 months, we had a break during Christmas, as there are no TV debates, and in november 2021 due to finishing project requirements. During July and August, the Demagog.SK team usually has summer break due to the break that the TV debates have, but we focused on irregular fact checking of social media during this time. In september, we have proceeded with regular weekly fact checks.

We strictly do not accept funding from political sources or state funding opportunities, such as grant programmes by ministries. 

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As described by the Applicant, there is some fluctuation of the number of fact-checks related to TV debates breaks (Christmas/summer) which results in a fact-check not being published every single week.

While I would have appreciated a database of fact-checks provided by the Applicant, I was able to compile a simple database for the last 6 months (starting in June 2022) – over the last 6 months, Demagog.SK has fact-checked 15 different political TV debates and a total of 314 claims made within those debates.

All fact-checked debates are listed on a separate page within the project website (https://demagog.sk/diskusie).

All fact-checked claims are then listed on a different page (https://demagog.sk/vyroky). This list seems to include also fact-checks of claims made outside of the TV debates, however, some of these claims lack proper date and source (i.e. when and where they were made).

This should be corrected and I suggest either creating a separate page for social media claims or properly referencing them on the "all fact-checks" page, potentially creating another filter of the list based on claim source.

On the other hand, the total of 314 claims fact-checked over the last 6 months should, in my opinion, be considered as enough volume in terms of this application.

Files Attached
DEMAGOG-SK-Fact-chec... (189 KB)
done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Using a compiled database of all fact-checked claims published since September 19, 2022 (a total of 76 claims), I assigned a category to each claim based on its contents. Overall, majority of claims have been related to either economy (over 44 % of claims, primarily related to inflation or high energy costs) or government/legislation (over 34 % of claims, primarily related to the governmental crisis in Slovakia), followed by topics such as Ukraine (10,35 %), crime (5,26 %) or infrastructure (3,95 %).

Altogether, I believe all these topics are highly relevant for the public in Slovakia and its well-being.

Files Attached
Demagog_SK_fact_chec... (80 KB)
done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Demagog.SK strictly does not accept funding from political sources or state funding opportunities, such as grant programmes by ministries. During the 12 years of Demagog.SK, we have only been funded by independent programmes, individual or business donors.

Research projects of Slovak Governance Institute have been funded by programmes managed by the Ministry of Interior (EU Structural Funds) until 2020, but researchers of SGI have no influence over the content of Demagog.SK. 

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The financial support of the project is described on a dedicated page (https://demagog.sk/donori).

The page lists all major financial contributions – in 2022, major contributions have been made by private foundations like Nadacia ESET or Férová nadácia O2, partnership with the Central European Digital EMdia Observatory (likely the biggest current donor) or the British Embassy in Bratislava and small individual donors.

While the Applicant states that detailed funding info can be found in annual reports of its parent organization, the Slovak Governance Institute (SGI), inspection of these reports showed that the funding chapter is not very detailed.

The funding web page is then essentially more clear than the annual reports and I believe the annual reports should contain a separate chapter on Demagog SK altogether since the Applicant mentions that SGI has no real influence over the Demagog SK content.

The identified information did not point to any funding from political entities (which is forbidden by the project's Code of Ethics) other than the British or the US embassies. Such support of non-profit organizations in Central and Eastern Europe by Western governents is quite frequent and in my opinion does not constitute a breach of the Code of Principles.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Demagog-SK-FUNDING-s... (1 MB)
done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We do not receive funding from political or state sources.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As stated, the organization's Code of Ethics prohibits any funding from local political or state sources and no such funding has been identified.



done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/korcok-a-fico-o-obrannej-dohode-s-usa

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/robert-fico-a-boris-kollar

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/tomas,-belusky,-viskupic-a-gyimesi

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/igor-matovic-na-ta3

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/zuzana-caputova-v-sobotnych-dialogoch

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/pellegrini-a-kolikova-v-na-telo

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/robert-kalinak-a-juraj-krupa-v-na-telo

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/matovic-a-tomas-v-na-telo

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/robert-fico-a-boris-kollar

https://demagog.sk/diskusia/igor-matovic-a-marian-viskupic-na-markize

In every analysis, usually the representatives of the government and opposition parties are factchecked, as this follows the dramaturgy of TV debates. The dramaturgy of TV debates is making our decisions easier, as they themselves strive for equal representation. When deciding which debate we are factchecking each week, we try to give comparable space to politicians from both opposition and government, varying the parties and their representatives.

When factchecking individual statements on social media, we aim to factcheck all relevant parties and therefore also publish true claims, but we also take the interest of the public into account and focus more on probably untrue or misleading statements, especially when they are a danger to health (such as covid-19 related misinformation) or security (war in Ukraine).

In the case of every factcheck, we follow the same strict standards according to our methodology and compare the claim to available reliable data. Every factcheck is seen by at least three people to minimize potential bias and all points of the analysis have to be supported by direct evidence and reliable sources. If we are unable to verify a claim, we label it as "unverifiable" and provide as much information as possible for the readers to form an opinion themselves.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The attached links to specific debates were used to select specific claims and 10 random claims were added to compile a fact-check sample.

The inspected sample shows a fairly balanced distribution between fact-checking government representatives and opposition representatives, sometimes independent (not memebers of any party) persons are also fact-checked.

Adequate explanation is given as the project team selects various TV debates on multiple channels to ensure fair representation of different parties.

After review of the fact-check sample, no clear partisan language or preferential treatment of different political representatives was identified.


Files Attached
description DEMAGOG_SK_CLAIM_SAM... (14 KB)
done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://demagog.sk/ako-pracujeme                            

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

While the linked website describes Demagog's methodology of work, I believe this could be somewhat improved. Concerning the evaluation of claims, the methodology web page states the following:

What are we evaluating?

We are only looking at the verifiable claims of politicians. Such claims are those built on facts in various forms, whether they are numerical information, past actions of a person (votes on bills or statements), or historical events.

Any summary assessment can only be applied to these claims, not to the overall speech of politicians.

What are we not evaluating?

Political statements, value judgments, and predictions about the effects of some action. (Example: government action XY is good because it will cause an increase in employment.)

Non-evaluated statements may consist of verifiable statements that we observe. (Example: In 2006 in the election program we had a proposal to reduce the flat tax from 19 to 15% and it was realistic.)

On what basis do we evaluate?

Based on publicly available information, mostly from primary sources. Databases, statistics, press releases and published information from government, non-government and private institutions. All sources used to assess the truth value of statements are embedded via a hyperlink in the text of the statement verification. If it is not possible to find a publicly available source, we also consult with analysts working in the field.”

Who evaluates?

The selection of factual statements from the discussions is mostly done by one of the experts, then the selection is checked by another expert or methodologist. The initial processing of the verification of the factual statements, the tracing of the necessary relevant sources and the drafting of the verification text is done by the trainee, then checked and completed by the expert/expert. The truth value is then assigned to the statement based on the sources found and after discussion between the expert and the methodologist, in the case of more complex statements other experts are also involved in the discussion. The verification of the statement is thus checked by at least 3 people. More complex statements, as well as statements that are commented on by the public or politicians, are checked and approved by the whole expert team.

Commenting by politicians

Once the factual statements have been selected, each politician to be verified receives by email (to a publicly available email address) a list of factual statements with a reminder of the ongoing verification and the possibility to supply the sources from which the facts were obtained, if necessary. Like the public, politicians can comment on completed verifications of statements.”

There is no part of the methodology dedicated to the selection of claims themselves (reach, importance, sources) although I believe all these aspects are considered when selecting claims to be fact-checked.

I suggest expanding the methodology (potential inspiration can be found at the sister project of Demagog in the Czech Republic). Regardless, I consider this more as a recommendation to improve the webpage dedicated to methodology. Overall, the methodology is defined well enough to be compliant.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

No relevant interests of sources were identified within the inspected fact-check sample. The vast majority of the sources used are either official information from the public sector or media outlets that have followed and published on the same topic (often adding more context). In some instances, authors of claims are contacted to provide sources of their claims and such contact is described at the end of the fact-check assessment.

No commerical relationships of Demagog SK were identified and no instances where such relationships would have to be disclosed were found within the inspected fact-check sample.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The project's Code of Ethics prohibits affiliation with any political entity or its support. No information pointing to activism/advocacy for specific policy positions have been identified.

However, some social media activity by the project's team members that could be understood as advocacy (described below with respect to 2.5) was identified and I believe this should be reslolved by expanding the CoE, specifically describing what social media activity by the team members is permissible (more information in 2.5).


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Slovak Governance Institute
05-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

https://demagog.sk/eticky-kodex/

We have updated the section of the updated Code of Ethics to include more detailed description as to behaviour on the social media. The posts that were described in the assesment will not happen in the future.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Demagog's Code of Ethics clearly states that:

  • Demagog SK project collaborators and volunteers do not openly and systematically show affection or disagreement with politicians, political parties and movements;
  • all meetings between Demagog.SK collaborators and politicians to discuss the project's findings are made public;
  • to maintain the neutrality and impartiality of the project, collaborators and volunteers are not direct supporters of politically active individuals, movements or parties and avoid any behaviour that may be perceived as support for a political party or movement;
  • we encourage people to participate actively in public life in ways that are consistent with our non-partisanship;

The CoE does not state how non-partisanship is ensured but its contents should disqualify any individuals who show partisanship from being a part of the project team.

I have inspected Facebook profiles of the main project team members (Veronika Frankovská, Pavol Lacko) and have to note that there are some, in my view, problematic posts.

While Mr Lacko does not seem to comment on politics on social media, Ms Frankovská has, on several occassions, shared posts or voiced support for specific politicians or parties. Even when focusing on the period when she has started to be the Project Manager (aka director) for Demagog (since Deceber 2021 according to her LinkedIn profile), she has continued with this activity.

Specifically, the post I view as most problematic in this regard is her post from October 26, 2022, when Ms Frankovská talks about the regional elections in Slovakia – while I would say encouraging people to vote in general is fine, making recommendations as to which specific politicians to vote (regardless of reasoning which might be justified) is, I think, in breach of the non-partisanship the CoE of Demagog demands.

While I cannot say that her political views have influenced the work of the entire project or fact-checking itself, I believe such activity in social media can lead the public to think of the project as biased towards certain parties (again, regardless of the possibility that certain parties and individuals routinely use lies or disinformartion and are therefore more prone to be negatively fact-checked), especially when it is done by the head of the project.

I recommend that Demagog.sk lays out a specific process within the CoE of how it ensures that political views of their team members do not influence their work, and with respect to social media activity, I believe that at the very least, a post such as the one described has to start with a clear disclaimer that the opions presented are strictly personal and in no way have effect on the work of Demagog (and social media acitivity of team members therefore has to be reflected on within the Code of Ethics).

Ideally, the updated CoE should state what kind of social media activity is permissible and not in conflict with the stated principle of non-partisanship.

Files Attached
Veronika_Frankovska_... (264 KB) picture_as_pdf Veronika_Frankovska_... (56 KB)
cancel 2.5 marked as Request change by Jan Indra.
Jan Indra Assessor
07-Mar-2023 (11 months ago)

Demagog's Code of Ethics clearly states that:

  • Demagog SK project collaborators and volunteers do not openly and systematically show affection or disagreement with politicians, political parties and movements;
  • all meetings between Demagog.SK collaborators and politicians to discuss the project's findings are made public;
  • to maintain the neutrality and impartiality of the project, collaborators and volunteers are not direct supporters of politically active individuals, movements or parties and avoid any behaviour that may be perceived as support for a political party or movement;
  • we encourage people to participate actively in public life in ways that are consistent with our non-partisanship;

The CoE does not state how non-partisanship is ensured but its contents should disqualify any individuals who show partisanship from being a part of the project team.

I have inspected Facebook profiles of the main project team members (Veronika Frankovská, Pavol Lacko) and have to note that there are some, in my view, problematic posts.

While Mr Lacko does not seem to comment on politics on social media, Ms Frankovská has, on several occassions, shared posts or voiced support for specific politicians or parties. Even when focusing on the period when she has started to be the Project Manager (aka director) for Demagog (since Deceber 2021 according to her LinkedIn profile), she has continued with this activity.

Specifically, the post I view as most problematic in this regard is her post from October 26, 2022, when Ms Frankovská talks about the regional elections in Slovakia – while I would say encouraging people to vote in general is fine, making recommendations as to which specific politicians to vote (regardless of reasoning which might be justified) is, I think, in breach of the non-partisanship the CoE of Demagog demands.

While I cannot say that her political views have influenced the work of the entire project or fact-checking itself, I believe such activity in social media can lead the public to think of the project as biased towards certain parties (again, regardless of the possibility that certain parties and individuals routinely use lies or disinformartion and are therefore more prone to be negatively fact-checked), especially when it is done by the head of the project.

I recommend that Demagog.sk lays out a specific process within the CoE of how it ensures that political views of their team members do not influence their work, and with respect to social media activity, I believe that at the very least, a post such as the one described has to start with a clear disclaimer that the opions presented are strictly personal and in no way have effect on the work of Demagog (and social media acitivity of team members therefore has to be reflected on within the Code of Ethics).

Ideally, the updated CoE should state what kind of social media activity is permissible and not in conflict with the stated principle of non-partisanship.


RE-ASSESSMENT UPDATE:

Demagog.sk has adjusted its Code of Ethics (see attachment), adding two new clause, specifically stating that:

  • conduct that could raise doubts about the impartiality and professionalism of the project includes, but is not limited to, election recommendations and expressions of affection for politicians or political parties on social media,
  • if there is a case that a project collaborator has not acted in accordance with this code of ethics, he/she will be warned and the portal will terminate his/her collaboration with him/her in the event of a repeated violation;
In my opinion, the added clauses are currently sufficient and compliant. However, in the case of ther Applicant being accepted as a signatory, the second/following iteration of the assessment will closely focus on this issue and potential breaches of the CoE.
Files Attached
picture_as_pdf IFCN_REASSESSMENT_De... (2 MB)
done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The sourcing of the fact-checking is of a high quality, always providing multiple links to documents, statements, statistics, legislature, court rulings etc., accompanied by contextualization of identified sources with respect to the fact-checked claim and the overall topic it refers to itself. In some cases, more research for primary sources instead of utilizing secondary media articles would be welcome, however, the utilization of media sources does not seem to influence the tone or rationale behind the fact-check and can also point readers to multiple sources in case they want to do their own research and replicate the fact-check.

No instance of sources' safety being compromised were identified within the inspected fact-check sample.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Within the inspected fact-checks, the Applicant is using official primary sources whenever possible (government documents, international bodies websites//press releases, social media statements etc.). Due to the fact that numerous claims made by politicians refer to other statements or events covered by other media outlets in the country, the project often also uses secondary sources, however, there is usually a long and detailed explanation of the assessment that goes above simply linking to an article published by a different media house. The secondary sources therefore serve as a way of providing more context to a fact-check if desired by the reader.

One thing I would recommend to improve – the hyperlinks within specific fact-checks only show up after "expanding" (clicking on "read more") the assessment, which was a little confusing at first although I quickly understood how the website works.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As stated above, the sourcing is done very well and usually contains a long, detailed explanation of why a specific assessment was made. Multiple sources are used with respect to almost every fact-check and there is a proper, but not overwhelming amount of context for the reader to understand the overall topic that the claim refers to.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

No instance of using a source that could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided was identified. However, the overall quality of sourcing implies that such an instance would be duly reported within the fact-check.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Demagog.SK is a project operating under the NGO Slovak Governance Institute (Inštitút pre dobre spravovanú spoločnosť). More information can be found on the website: www.governance.sk/gov_project/demagog-sk/. 

Funding of Demagog.SK is explained both in the annual reports of SGI (https://www.governance.sk/vyrocne-spravy/) and on the website Demagog.sk: https://demagog.sk/donori 

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The project funding is actually better described on the website than in the annual reports as the website provides more details.

The website lists all major donations, however, a lack of a transparent account makes this impossible to verify. However, as an existence of such a bank account is not an obligation, I consider the description of the funding to be compliant with this criterion.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The project is a part of a larger non-profit organization, which is properly specified on the project's website.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://demagog.sk/kontakty                            

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The listed web page describe the project`s team while the web page dedicated to methodology (https://demagog.sk/ako-pracujeme) specifies how editorial control is excercised, specifically:

Who is evaluating?

The selection of factual statements from the discussions is usually done by one of the experts, then checked by another expert or methodologist. The initial processing of the verification of the factual statements, the tracing of the necessary relevant sources and the drafting of the verification text is done by the trainee, then checked and completed by the expert/expert. The truth value is then assigned to the statement based on the sources found and after discussion between the expert and the methodologist, in the case of more complex statements other experts are also involved in the discussion. The verification of the statement is thus checked by at least 3 people. More complex statements, as well as statements that are commented on by the public or politicians, are checked and approved by the whole expert team.”

The Applicant clearly states how every fact-check goes through multitple levels of assessment by multiple team members, ensuring some level of editorial control.

However, I would recommend that editorial responsibility is attributed to a specific team member and clearly stated as such. Although not disqualifying in my opinion, currently it is not entirely clear who has the ultimate editoral decision-making power and responsibility (although I would assume it is the Chief Analyst Veronika Frankovská, this could be listed on the website per se).


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Slovak Governance Institute
05-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

https://demagog.sk/kontakty 

The section of contacts now includes more information about all team members, their pictures, and links to their LinkedIn profiles or biographies, if applicable.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Out of 8 team members, only 2 biographies are provided. I would also appreciate photos or social (LinkedIn) links in the absence of a bio. I believe this should be amended to be fully compliant.


cancel 4.4 marked as Request change by Jan Indra.
Jan Indra Assessor
07-Mar-2023 (11 months ago)

Out of 8 team members, only 2 biographies are provided. I would also appreciate photos or social (LinkedIn) links in the absence of a bio. I believe this should be amended to be fully compliant.


RE-ASSESSMENT UPDATE:

The information on core team members of the Applicant were updated as requested.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf IFCN_REASSESSMENT_De... (3 MB)
done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Users are encouraged to contact the project team members and 4 different contact options are listed.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant publishes its methodology which is of a fairly good quality but could be somewhat expanded (I already delved into this issue with respect to criterion 2.2).


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The Applicant uses two primary sources of claims – TV debates and social media.

TV debates are logically used for their wide reach within the Slovak population, while social media claims are selected, as the Applicant states, both for its reach as well as its potential to influence the public in a potentially negative and harmful way (such as spreading disinformation related to the Covid-19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine). Explanations of selection of specific claims are not given. However, the Applicant describes the general logic for selection of social media claims with respect to criterion 2.1 – in my opinion, such descripition could easily be replicated on the website itself and could help furter inform readers on how claims are selected for fact-checking.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The assessment of fact-checks, as stated before, strives to provide an ample amount of context with respect to the claims themselves but also the overall topic (war, energy prices, constitution and legislation etc.) that the claim refers to. The assessments then provide clear reasoning, especially e.g. with respect to fact-checks labelled as "misleading", as to why the assessment was made and what evidence both supports a part of the claim made and refutes it or proves that the claims spins the topic a certain way the politican intended to.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The inspected assessments show a fair approach to working with sources and equal treatment regardless of the author of a fact-checked claim.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The project's website states that politicians are always contacted before publishing a fact-check via e-mail, specifically:

“Once the factual statements have been selected, each fact-checked politician will receive a list of factual statements by email (to a publicly available email address), with a reminder of the ongoing verification and the opportunity to supply the sources from which the facts were obtained, if necessary. Like the public, politicians can comment on completed verifications of statements.”

Several instances of a politician providing additional sourcing have been identified, the context of which is described at the bottom of the asessment.

The practice of always contacting the author before publishing is, in my opinion, a sort of best-practice in this respect. If anything, I would appreciate a simple unified tag or graphical distinction of an author providing additional evidence as this would allow readers to easily notice this or even filter out claims where this has happened.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We currently do not have an active option for readers to submit claims to check. We have put out an ad hoc call to send us material to factcheck about the war in Ukraine, but currently we do not have the capacity to systematically review readers’ suggestions for factcheck. Our main focus are the TV and broadcast debates. 

Slovak Governance Institute
05-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

We have added description on the possibility of sending us suggestions to fact-check to the section www.demagog.sk/ako-pracujeme:


"Chcete nám nahlásiť výrok na overenie? Pošlite nám ho do správy na Facebooku, Instagrame alebo na demagog@institutsgi.sk. Výrok overíme v prípade, že bude spoločensky relevantný, spĺnať kritériá našej metodológie na faktické výroky a budeme mať na to kapacitu."

"Do you want to report a claim for us to fact-check? Send it to us via Facebook message, Instagram or to demagog@institutsgi.sk. We will fact-check the claim if it is relevant, it fulfills the criteria of our methodology and we have sufficient capacity to do so."

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The project currently does not encourage its readers to send in claims to fact-checks as its personal capacities are, as stated by the Applicant, limited, which is something that the Assessor is unable to verify/consider as he does not have internal knowledge of the project`s team and its capacities.

However, I believe that the project could simply state that the public can send in claims to fact-check but does not guarantee that the received claims will be fact-checked unless they have significant importance (e.g. wide reach on social media with potential to influence public opinion). Doing this could also help Demagog to gain an idea of how many claims are being sent in and what would be the real added workload – potentially, the project team would realize that an encouragement can be featured on the website but the readers do not overwhelm the fact-checking capacities.


cancel 5.6 marked as Request change by Jan Indra.
Jan Indra Assessor
07-Mar-2023 (11 months ago)

The project currently does not encourage its readers to send in claims to fact-checks as its personal capacities are, as stated by the Applicant, limited, which is something that the Assessor is unable to verify/consider as he does not have internal knowledge of the project`s team and its capacities.

However, I believe that the project could simply state that the public can send in claims to fact-check but does not guarantee that the received claims will be fact-checked unless they have significant importance (e.g. wide reach on social media with potential to influence public opinion). Doing this could also help Demagog to gain an idea of how many claims are being sent in and what would be the real added workload – potentially, the project team would realize that an encouragement can be featured on the website but the readers do not overwhelm the fact-checking capacities.


RE-ASSESSMENT UPDATE:

The Applicant updated its website as requested, inviting the audience to send in claims to fact-check.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://demagog.sk/nahlasit-chybu 

This link is a part of every factcheck at the end of the analysis, for example: https://demagog.sk/vyrok/48483                            

Slovak Governance Institute
05-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

https://demagog.sk/nahlasit-chybu 

This link is a part of every factcheck at the end of the analysis, for example: https://demagog.sk/vyrok/48483              

We have added more information about the corrections policy, including example of how a corrected statement should look like.               

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The project has a dedicated webpage where the audience is encouraged to report any identified mistakes (https://demagog.sk/nahlasit-chybu).

However, the page does not describe or provide more details on the corrections policy – I believe this should be amended and the correction process should be better described (inspiration could be found e.g. with respect to the Demagog project in the Czech Republic).


cancel 6.1 marked as Request change by Jan Indra.
Jan Indra Assessor
07-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The project has a dedicated webpage where the audience is encouraged to report any identified mistakes (https://demagog.sk/nahlasit-chybu).

However, the page does not describe or provide more details on the corrections policy – I believe this should be amended and the correction process should be better described (inspiration could be found e.g. with respect to the Demagog project in the Czech Republic).


RE-ASSESSMENT UPDATE:

The corrections policy was slightly expanded and now states how a correction will look like and specifies how the correction process looks like. Sufficient enough to be compliant with this criterion, however, I have one final remark: if a source for correction made is a politician who made the claim and who provides supplementary documents or evidence, such evidence should be, in my opinion, provided in the correction statement as well (i.e. the audience should be able to review the evidence provided for correction to be made as well as with other source materials for the fact-check).


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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

Slovak Governance Institute
05-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

We have unified the way that corrections of statements are graphically highlighted. Now all the examples both from the website and from this form follow the same format.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As described with respect to 6.1, the project does not describe a clear corrections policy/process, only refers to the methodology of assessment of claims (https://demagog.sk/ako-pracujeme). I recommend that the Corrections Policy is duly described (in several steps) and made corrections are graphically highlighted.

I inspected the three examples of corrections Deagog.sk lists on its website – however, these corrections are slightly different in terms of how they are highlighted with respect to the fact-check itself. However, Demagog clearly shows and mentions if a correction was made.


cancel 6.2 marked as Request change by Jan Indra.
Jan Indra Assessor
07-Mar-2023 (11 months ago)

As described with respect to 6.1, the project does not describe a clear corrections policy/process, only refers to the methodology of assessment of claims (https://demagog.sk/ako-pracujeme). I recommend that the Corrections Policy is duly described (in several steps) and made corrections are graphically highlighted.

I inspected the three examples of corrections Deagog.sk lists on its website – however, these corrections are slightly different in terms of how they are highlighted with respect to the fact-check itself. However, Demagog clearly shows and mentions if a correction was made.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

During the last year, we have been contacted by politicians or readers to review our factchecks. Upon receiving the feedback, at least two analysts from the team look at the evidence provided by the reader or politician and review it according to our methodology. If the evidence is sufficient to change the evaluation of the claim, we change it on our website and mark it accordingly.

Examples of the correction:

https://demagog.sk/vyrok/48454

https://demagog.sk/vyrok/47950

https://demagog.sk/vyrok/44540

https://demagog.sk/vyrok/48588

As Demagog.SK contacts the politicians before publishing the factchecks, it often happens that the politicians provide the data needed to change the category of the statement before the publication and there is no need for later correction.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The listed fact-checks show corrections made and also provide an explanation of why a correction was made. In certain cases, the team states that the claim author provided additional evidence, however, such evidence is not hyperlinked which would be welcome (although there might be instances where such evidence could also display some personal information and should be anonymized correspondingly).


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We are not an existing signatory.

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The project is not an existing signatory (https://ifcncodeofprinciples.poynter.org/signatories).


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Slovak Governance Institute
03-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We are not a fact-checking unit of a media company. 

Jan Indra Assessor
12-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As stated by the Applicant and verified by the Assessor, the project is not a unit of a media company.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.