Methodology for Fact-Checking
What Kind Of Stories Do We Cover?
The Fact Check team at The Logical Indian is always on the lookout for any news/social media posts where false information has been shared as a fact, or correct information is being shared as incorrect. A few examples of posts we take up are:
- We verify claims made by politicians/people in important governmental positions in India.
- Information being shared against or in favor of political parties/leaders which appear untrue.
- Posts by Facebook pages/twitter handles spreading hate using fake information Messages from our readers, who mail us anything which looks suspicious.
- Scams/Rumours which can cause fear or panic amongst people.
- Misinformation on health or even related to business/economy.
Where Do We Get Our News From?
Anywhere and everywhere! From WhatsApp forwards to Prime Time debates, we have many sources. We go through social media, messaging platforms and mainstream print and audio visual media to get our stories. Some of the most prominent sources are WhatsApp forwards, profiles of trolls and politicians as well as trending hashtags. We are also active on Facebook and Twitter from where we get many of our stories.
How Do We Bust Fake News?
- On finding something suspicious, we use tools such as Google and Yandex Reverse Image Search, InVid Fake News Debunker and Photograph Exif Tools among others.
- Search the internet using various search filters (date, time etc.) to arrive at the origin of posts and messages circulating on the internet.
- We contact people who could have links with a particular event, from a common man to a person in authority.
- Consult experts in particular fields related to the story to verify the claims, such as doctors for a fact check on health issues.
- Conclusions are also written based on their findings and recommendations.
How Do We Explain Our Stories?
- The team explains the story in the following format.
- Current situation which led to the spreading of the fake news.
- A description of the fake news with claims.
- The main sources of the fake news with a description.
- How many engagements, likes and shares from different social media platforms.
- Prominent personalities who share these stories, along with their comments if any.
- Which tools have been used to check the story.
- What is the original content, and how is it different from the viral post.
- Expert opinions and comments from relevant people such as people involved as well as people in authority, depending on the story.
After all, we need to know under what circumstances are such misleading posts being circulated and why it is being done, so that we can be aware of other similar posts and not be is led or misinformed.
What After The Story Is Published?
In case there are any changes to be made with respect to developments, the team makes sure to update the story with the relevant information, along with the previous claims. An apology could also be issued in case of any mistake.
Sourcing of Information
Depending on the fake information we are fact-checking, the source depends on that. For example, for a story that requires only a google search and there are multiple sources to verify, we use credible media to support the information.
For data story especially claims made by political leaders or parties, we check government websites or survey done by reputed agency, think tank or research group. For fact-check on health claims, we reach out to experts.