IFCN releases a statement about accusations against one of its verified signatories

Fully committed to the presumption of innocence and transparency, the IFCN shares its policy

Category: Fact-Checking,IFCN

Since 2016, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) has been promoting high standards in fact-checking through its Code of Principles. As of today, 77 fact-checking organizations around the world come together under IFCN’s umbrella to commit to non-partisanship, transparency, and accountability.

Today, we were informed that one of our verified signatories is being accused of violating IFCN’s Code of Principles on its first commitment to non-partisanship in one of the fact-checks it has published.

Health Feedback, an arm of Science Feedback, rated a claim about abortion as inaccurate. The information was in a video posted by a publisher on Facebook. Some media outlets have published today that two of the scientists who contributed to that fact check are reported to be affiliated with advocacy groups within that policy area.

The IFCN would like the public, our signatories and partners to know that we will be investigating those accusations, as we have done in the past.

Here are the steps we are taking to investigate the case:

  1. We have emailed the editor of Health Feedback’s parent organization, Science Feedback, and will send a case-specific questionnaire to the platform this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. We expect to receive all the answers and documents the organization can provide about this case in one week.
  2. All the information provided by the verified signatory will be reviewed by the IFCN’s staff and its Advisory Board to see if there was a failure in meeting any part of the networks’ Code of Principles.
  3. If  the IFCN’s staff and Advisory Board find that the organization has violated the Code of Principles, they may request the fact-checking platform take steps to correct the mistake. Failure to comply with requested actions could lead to suspension.
  4. This procedure has been applied before and is fully transparent. We will continue to update the public on our progress.

For further information:

Baybars Orsek
Director, International Fact-Checking Network

borsek@poynter.org

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