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‘VISHVAS’ NEWS VERIFICATION METHODOLOGY

‘VISHVAS’ 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 development of the idea, then publishing and distribution, and finally quality check on the basis of facts, language, ethics and conduct. During the whole process, it is ensured that journalistic ethics are not compromised at any stage.

To bust fake news or verify news, the ‘VISHVAS’ team follows special guidelines. 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 misinforming/misleading claims that tend to impact the larger audience.

Our sources are speeches and tweets of politicians and officials in authoritative positions, claims made by political parties via social media, and provocative hashtags meant to influence public opinion.

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 following parameters are considered for selection:

  • Nature of the viral claim
  • The extent of a viral feed (how many people have liked and shared it).
  • Source of the viral post

2.Probe The News

We systematically investigate to verify the facts. To debunk any fake claim, ‘VISHVAS’ 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 tools to bust fake news, which include Google Reverse Image search, Yendex, 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 Yendex 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’ team takes help of various tools such as Whois, Stalkscan, Foller.me, time, date, etc., to reach a conclusion on the origin of an image or text.

Physical verification is a mandatory SOP at Vishvas. We try and contact the person who is the first party in the claim. It could be the main person or prime character in the photo, video or text post, or a person who can verify it on that person’s behalf. We also consult the experts in the field to verify the claim.

In the end, we provide all evidence in our stories so that our readers can replicate the fact-check on their own. We let the readers draw their own conclusion. We do not take any policy positions on any fact-check we do.

3.Genre Covered

 ‘VISHVAS’ deals with issues which 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.Publishing The Fact Check

 ‘VISHVAS’ 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. Information has no time or limit, as a result of which, stories have to be constantly updated. We keep an eye on any updates that come in and add them to the already running articles.

5.Rating

We have 3 rating options to categories the fact-checks and depict them with the help of dynamic graphic emoticons. (Example of in front)

  1. False: The primary claim(s) of the content are factually inaccurate. This generally corresponds to “false” or “mostly false” ratings.
  2. Misleading: The claim(s) of the content are a mix of accurate and inaccurate, or the primary claim is misleading or incomplete.
  3. True: The primary claim(s) of the content are factually accurate. This generally corresponds to “true” or “mostly true” ratings.

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