What do you fact-check?

We fact-check: 

  • Statements, claims, assertions or allegations made by public figures, reports or organisations;
  • Rumours and theories being shared on social media, blogs and other public platforms;

What do you not fact-check?

We do not fact-check statements that are subjective in nature or constitute political opinion. We do not fact-check predictions or claims that are speculative about the future. Our fact-checks are intended to establish whether or not a claim or statement is true – we do not examine the intent behind a statement. 

How is a fact-check carried out? 

When carrying out a fact-check we try to use publicly available data and verifiable sources to confirm or refute a claim. We attempt to contact the individual or organisation making the claim to find the source of the information underpinning their claim and investigate the source. Where necessary, we also contact experts within the field to provide additional information and context. We look for evidence that both validates and refutes the claim before developing a conclusion, and we provide links to all cited evidence, including all relevant data and primary sources, where possible. 

What is your rating system?

Many claims or statements are neither completely true nor completely false. Our rating system helps our readers quickly understand our assessment of the claim. Our ratings are:

  • True (the evidence clearly corroborates the claim, within a reasonable margin of error)
  • Mostly true (the evidence generally corroborates the claim, although some minor aspects of the claim may be inaccurate)
  • Mostly false (the evidence generally refutes the claim, although some minor aspects of the claim may be accurate)
  • False (the evidence clearly refutes the claim)
  • Unsubstantiated (there is insufficient evidence to validate or refute the claim)
  • Out of context or Misleading (although the claim may in itself be partly or entirely true, it is presented in a manner that is not representative of the facts within a broader context)
  • Unverified (the information needed to verify this claim was not provided)

How do you choose what to fact-check?

When selecting a claim to fact-check, we assess several issues, including:

  • How important is the claim? Is it addressing a topical issue that is currently being debated? Does it present information that could potentially cause harm if untrue?
  • How widely is the claim being shared? Are a significant number of people repeating the claim?
  • Is the claim fact-checkable? Can it be investigated to determine whether it is true?

Can I submit a claim to be fact-checked?

Yes, you can submit a claim to be fact-checked using the online form below. All claims submitted go through our standard editorial process. We welcome claims submitted by our readers for consideration, however, we do not promise to fact-check all claims submitted.

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