Fact-checking policy

IranWire Fact-Check Methodology

 

Fact-Checking is a method of evaluating the reliability of claims, news, quotations and accounts that are taken from various forms of media, social networks and from among everyday people. In the modern-day digital world finding the truth and facts from among the masses of content that is published by the media and social networks is not a simple task. In this project, IranWire is trying to use reliable international and internal Iranian sources and information to fact-check information, claims, news and even quotes that have been attributed to individuals. In this article, we aim to describe the way in which we chose subjects for fact-checking and the method of fact-checking that we use:

 

  • Topics 

Statements of fact from media, individuals, government entities, organizations about Iran, including Iran’s relationships with the Arab World, Iran’s foreign or domestic policies, and data and information about Iran and elements of economic, political, and social life in Iran.

 

Critical questions help identify which topics to fact-check: 

  • Is the statement significant and relevant to what is being covered in the news and happening in Iran, the region, Europe or the US? 
  • Is the statement likely to be (or has it been) passed on and repeated by others on social media and in the media?
  • Might the statement leave a particular impression that may be misleading? Does it make the reader question: Is that true?
  • Is the statement rooted in an apparent fact that is verifiable?

 

  • Selection Process 

The IranWire Fact-Check team will select statements from key news stories, social media posts, political ads and speeches, campaign websites, and press releases, and other public sources about Iran that are circulating in Iran, the Arab World or the US and Europe, including Iran’s policy in the Arab World, Iranian domestic issues, Iran’s policy towards the U.S. and Europe, and other key issues. Items may be submitted by our reporters, editors, or our audience. We select items on a non-partisan basis and let our selection be guided by the principles below.

 

  • Research 

After a claim, statement, or other item has been approved for fact-checking, our fact-check team begins research on the item. In all cases we will: Attempt to contacting the source of a claim for clarification, data, or sources;  Search accessible open sources in domestic or international databases, domestic and international media, etc. to find corroborating or contradictory evidence; as appropriate after conducting the first two steps, contact subject matter experts for guidance and analysis.  

 

  • Evaluating Claims

Drawing on the evidence found in step 3, above, we will present our research results to the editorial team for review and, upon editorial approval, prepare an analysis for publication. The analysis will include a discussion of the original statement being fact-checked, including the source of the statement, why it was selected for fact-checking, and the context in which the statement was originally presented. We will then provide a summary of the evidence found relating to the claim, including the sources used and how we interpreted that evidence. Finally we will present our analysis of the claim on the following scale, including a discussion of why we rated the claim as we did.



  • Rating 

 

  • Pinocchio Lie: Statements that have been previously disproven or are patently false, drawing on research and known evidence. 
  • Not True: False statement about a specific recent event or something not previously disproven, as supported with facts and evidence. 
  • Manipulating the Truth: This is a case where certain facts may be used out of context to imply a different unprovable or inaccurate point. 
  • True: When a statement is supported by documented facts.
  • Cannot be proven/disproven: In certain instances we may acknowledge that we cannot actually make a case for a statement falling on the scale between truth and lie. Such a case might be a claim about internal deliberations within the government that we do not know about, what turns out to be substantially opinion statements, or claims about intentions that cannot be proven or disproven. 

 

Corrections/Fact Check Standards: We will publish any corrections as warranted by new evidence or sources that we become aware of or receive after initial publication. We will explain why we made that correction. We accept comments at [email protected].

 

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