VISHVAS NEWS VERIFICATION METHODOLOGY
Vishvas News believes in following a logical flow in building its content. All our stories follow the same pattern. The idea is conceived with planning followed by the development of the idea, investigating the claim following in-house editorial SOP and IFCN Code of Principles, implementing the maker-checker system, quality check on the basis of facts, language, ethics and conduct and then publishing and distribution. During the whole process, it is ensured that journalistic ethics and IFCN Code of Principles are not compromised at any stage.
To bust fake news or verify news, the Vishvas News team of certified and trained fact checkers follows in-house editorial and ethical guidelines and SOP. These include the following:
1. Selecting a News To Verify
We regularly monitor social media and other forms of media for inaccurate information. Our main aim is to challenge false claims that are against the public interest, so we pick claims that tend to impact the larger audience. Vishvas News deals with issues that affect the lives of general people. The platform provides stories that come from genres including politics, sports, health, sanitation, law and justice, education, environment, employment, innovation, science, and socially and ethnically disadvantaged groups.
We also pick posts related to 1) Medical misinformation and bizarre home remedies 2) Provocative content that could create social chaos 3) False but curious content to earn clicks (clickbait).
We make a selection of news stories that we intend to verify. The Senior members of Vishvas News conduct the daily team meeting early morning to discuss the claims that the fact checker chooses to verify on the basis of potential unverified trends. The following parameters are considered for the selection of claim:
• Nature of the viral claim
• The extent of a viral feed (how many people have liked and shared it)
• Source of the viral post
– The stories are selected from various platforms. These include:
• Social Media Platforms
• Vishvas News Whatsapp Tipline (+91 9599299372)
• Vishvas News Whatsapp No (+91 9205270923)
• Stories sent by users on Vishvas News email (email@example.com)
• Stories shared by users on social media platforms through direct message to verify
• Stories sent by users on region-wise created Whatsapp Groups created for 17 cities after Sach Ke Sathi Fact Check LIteracy Drive – (Lucknow, Delhi, Meerut, Kashi, Jaipur, MP, Bihar, Prayagraj, Bhagalpur, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Muzaffarpur, Patna, Kanpur, Darbhanga, Noida and Ranchi)
2. Probe The News
We systematically investigate to verify the facts. To debunk any fake claim, Vishvas News may use one or more of the following methods:
We use a mix of technology and old-school journalism to verify any claim. We use over 20 verification tools to bust fake news, which include Google Reverse Image search, Yandex, InVid, Foller.me, Whois, and others. These tools help us determine the origin of viral photographs or videos and also to verify if the same image or video has been used earlier in similar or different contexts.
In order to use Google Reverse Image search or Yandex search, we snipe a contextual part from the photograph or video and search it. With the help of similar Images, we identify if the same image has been used anywhere earlier as well. For more exact versions, the Vishvas News team applies multiple tools in a single story to reach the conclusion on the origin of an image or text.
Physical verification is mandatory at Vishvas News. We contact the primary source or secondary source or any authentic person, including Beat Specialists/Bureau reporters of Jagran Network and subject experts eligible to respond and verify the claim.
In the end, we clearly mention the entire process of investigation and provide all evidence in the article so that our readers can understand the methodology and replicate the fact-check on their own if required. We let the readers draw their own conclusion. We do not take any policy positions on any fact-check we do.
Broadly, the fact check is done following these parameters:
• The Headline explains the claim and the fact
• The intro explains claim and conclusion in brief
• The Investigation (Fact Check) is done using online tools like Google Reverse Image, Follrme, Invid, Stalkscan, Exifdata, Mappia, waybackmachine etc.
• The journalistic expertise is used (like getting in touch with the authorities, extracting archives, giving historic references etc). We call it the process of ‘Physical Verification’.
• The whole process of the fact check is explained with screenshots and backlinks
• Simple and straight language is used. No flowery vocabulary.
• The story is concluded by giving statistics and analysis.
3. Genres Covered
Vishvas News deals with issues that are in the public domain, including politics, sports, health, sanitation, law and justice, education, environment, employment, innovation, science, and socially and ethnically disadvantaged groups.
4. Maker-Checker System (For additional Quality Check)
While drafting the stories, Vishvas News team members follow the maker-checker system. In this maker-checker system, the following process is being followed in all articles published on Vishvas News since the day it’s included in the SOP. The idea behind this process is that the fact checker who works on any claim has no right to publish the copy. Another fact checker in the team checks the copy and publishes it following the SOP. Below is the process of the Maker-Checker system.
A. The claim is investigated and copy is drafted by the first fact checker – He is the Maker
B. b. Once the article is ready, the Maker sends it to another fact checker in the team to re-check it – He is the Checker. His responsibility is to check the copy on all parameters in accordance with the Editorial SOP and IFCN Code of Principles.
C. If the Checker is not convinced with the process or any input, he sends the copy back to Maker to rework with his suggestions.
D. The Maker reworks on the copy as per suggestions and sends it back to Checker.
E. When Checker finds the copy is good to to be published, the maker sends the copy to the Quality Check Manager to check grammatical, language, or syntax errors.
F. After this, the final copy goes to the senior member of the team for a final go ahead.
G. After the final approval, the Checker publishes the copy on website.
H. The names of both the Maker and the Checker are displayed at the end of the published article.
5. Publishing The Fact Check
Vishvas News publishes its findings in the form of a story in the public domain on its website with proof in the form of screenshots and links so that the readers can also identify and debunk the news on their own. The similar fact checked stories are also interlinked to the main article.
We have 3 rating options to categories the fact-checks and depict them with the help of dynamic graphic emoticons.
• False: The primary claim(s) of the content are factually inaccurate. This generally corresponds to “false” or “mostly false” ratings.
• Misleading: The claim(s) of the content are a mix of accurate and inaccurate, or the primary claim is misleading or incomplete.
• True: The primary claim(s) of the content are factually accurate. This generally corresponds to “true” or “mostly true” ratings.
After the story is published, it is promoted on Social Media platforms by the fact checker.
We welcome suggestions and rectifications which we receive from our readers in the form of comments, emails, and phone calls. The feedback can be received through any platform: Social Media Direct Messages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp), Vishvas News Whatsapp Tipline (+91 9599299372), Vishvas News Whatsapp No. (+91 9205270923), Stories sent by users on Vishvas News email (firstname.lastname@example.org). In case we receive any complaint regarding the accuracy of our content, we immediately put it on hold and determine the facts. Once the facts have been cross-examined, we take a considered decision and appropriately respond to the feedback. Depending on the authenticity and magnitude of the mistake/error, we remove/edit the published information or duly inform the reader in case the original news does not qualify as a mistake and how we arrived at such a decision.
9. Correction policy
As per our correction policy, we have strengthened our fight against misinformation and created a team to do fact checking regularly and monitor the content flow on the website. In case of any appeal on our fact-checked stories, we take note of the details provided, do the correction/corrections following our SOP and IFCN guidelines and also put on record the stories done by the team members which needed corrections. We add the disclaimer at the end of the corrected article. This correction record is also mentioned below the biography of the fact-checker who conducted the concerned fact-check.
If the users believe that we are violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN of this. The link to the complaints page on the IFCN site: