ABCDEF
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SECTION/CRITERIAAvailability for assessors to ask for changes if the applicant failst to meet the criteriaMust meet / Allow IFCN waiver***CRITERIA
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1. Eligibility to be a signatory1.1Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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1.2Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking
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1.3Meet or Fail (i)Allow waiver (iiii)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
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1.4Meet or Fail (i)Allow waiver (iiii)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.
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1.5Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.
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1.6Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)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
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2 A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness2.1Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.
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2.2Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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2.3Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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2.4Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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2.5Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Allow waiver (iiii)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.
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3. A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources3.1Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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3.2Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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3.3Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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3.4Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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4. A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization4.1Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii) Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.
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4.2Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Allow waiver (iiii)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).
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4.3Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)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.
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4.4Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)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.
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4.5Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.
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5. A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology5.1Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.
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5.2Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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5.3Meet or Fail (i)Allow waiver (iiii)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.
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5.4Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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5.5Meet or Fail (i)Must meet (iii)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.
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5.6Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)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.
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6. A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy6.1Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)The applicant has a corrections or complaints policy that is easily visible and accessible on the organization’s website or frequently referenced in broadcasts.
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6.2Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)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.
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6.3Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)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.
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6.4Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Allow waiver (iiii)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.
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6.5Ask for changes if the applicant fails (ii)Must meet (iii)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.
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(i) Applicants need to meet the criteria in order to be provided with a suggestion of acceptance by the assessor
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(ii) Applicants will be given an additional 7 days to implement the requested changes by the assessor
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(iii) Applicants must meet the criteria to be provided with a 'compliant' assessment by the assessor
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(iiii) IFCN's Advisory Board may grant a waiver should the applicant is able to demonstrate it's challenge, need, and/or risks attached to meeting the criteria