The criteria compiled here are only designed for an analysis of the claim/statement choosing and checking process. They also aid in rating the claim as True or False or misleading or partially correct Incorrect Satire or Checked among other verdicts based on the evidence provided.
Below are the criteria we use to evaluate fact-checks made by Debunk Media:
Debunk Media Initiative fact-checks claims/ statements falling under the following categories: Health and Human Rights.
Health claims contain information which has an impact on people’s physical, mental and social well-being. It is not based on the current scientific evidence.
Human rights claims contain information which has an impact on the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world such claims include information threatening peace, life, and democracy among others. (Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
One claim per Fact Check
The claims containing multiple propositions should be divided into separate fact-checks, each containing exactly one claim. That is, different propositions should not be compounded under one single truth rating.
Claims are checked in their immediate context
The context matters in fact-checking, but the right context for the claim is not the surrounding of the speaker but the reality represented by the claim at hand. Therefore, fact checkers’ ratings are objective and based on evidence, not subjective notions.
Fact-checks are based on evidence
This means that there must be evidence on which the fact-check is based; fact-checkers should not rate the claims off the top of their heads. Therefore the Fact checker must disclose their sources, methodology and the definitions of possible truth-value categories.
Each claim is checked using the same criteria
Fact-checks are not concentrated on any one particular side (e.g., party, )
The fact-checker does not advocate for policy positions
The following sentence types are considered uncheckable:
- Claims about the future and Goal setting
- These claims cannot be fact-checked, since there is no way to know the future beforehand. Even though good predictions may exist, one still cannot say now whether something is true in the future.
- Unclear or vague claims
- Claims about non-existent things (e.g., “The current king of Uganda is childish”)
- Even though information about their existence can be offered, it might be wise for fact-checkers to reformulate these statements only to refer to the actuality of such things otherwise, they might create an impression that such non-existent things exist.
- Claims containing aesthetic, moral or ethical values
- Claims concerning the supernatural or matters of faith and claims referring to personal experience can neither be checked since there is no reliable way to verify these.
- Claims referring to personal experience
- Redundancies (“All bachelors are unmarried”)
- Interrogative sentences
- Non-declarative exclamatory sentences
- Imperative sentences are not checkable unless some proposition is deducible from them.