Fact-checking involves doing a little investigative work to determine whether information or claims are consistent with reality and, therefore, true. Fact-checking is often conducted by investigative journalists, but you can also carry out your own check.
The purpose of fact-checking is to gather factual and objective elements to verify the veracity of facts or the accuracy of the figures presented.
How do I conduct my own fact-check?
Check the facts for yourself; sometimes photos or videos are used out of context. To check whether images are really accurate, you can do a number of things:
- You can identify the actual context of the photo by putting it into a search engine, such as Google images
- Check what you can see in the images carefully and pay close attention to the various environmental elements. You might be able to read certain street names or inscriptions and/or see certain prominent buildings which will identify the location of the image.
- Identify the source/sender and ask yourself what their intention might be. Try to find independent sources to verify stories and images. Examples include foreign news agencies or people on the ground.
- Consult multiple sources to see if they all tell you the same thing. You could search for other photos and videos of the same event, for example. These could provide additional information about context. When you find multiple photos/videos of the same event with the same description, it could prove that the image and description are correct.
- Read how to apply fact-checking tips and techniques on the EDMO BENELUX and AFP Fact Check websites.
- You can test your fact-checking skills with this quiz from EDMO BENELUX.
Which organisations conduct fact-checking?
Do you doubt that a post is true and the source is credible? There are several news sources and organisations that fact-check articles, videos and photos for you. Such as:
- Disinfocheck is a website by EDMO BELUX, a research hub that monitors disinformation in Belgium and Luxembourg by bringing together international experts from the fields of academia, civil society, media and journalism, fact-checking, and media literacy.
- The European Union also has a website, called EUvsDisinfo, where disinformation is identified, collected and published.
- AFP Fact Check is a department within Agence France-Presse (AFP), a multi-lingual, multicultural news agency whose mission is to provide accurate, balanced and impartial coverage of news wherever and whenever it happens in the world on a continuous basis.