What do you fact check?
FactCheckNI researches claims that are:
- statements made in public, usually attributed to a specific person or an organisation;
- an assertion or allegation that can be validated or refuted.
We cannot fact check future events or predictions which haven’t happened yet.
We cannot fact check peoples’ feelings on issues and their emotions.
Why should I accept anything you say?
FactCheckNI uses publicly available sources that you can check when we research claims.
Where possible, we attempt to contact the person or organisation who made a claim, to verify the accuracy of the statement we’re researching, and to find any sources of information they were relying on.
In our research, we are aware of the variable standards of quality, and we will verify the methodology applied.
We look for sources of evidence that could contradict our developed conclusion, and we provide links to all cited evidence that supports or refutes a claim.
In our articles, we want readers to be able to follow our investigation and double-check our source links.
We welcome the submission of further evidence ([email protected]), post-publication of any FactCheckNI article, whether it validates or refutes our conclusion. Where a correction to our article is required, we will do so with transparency. Updates to article will be noted at the top, with a description of the amendment under the main text.
Who fact checks the fact checkers?
Everyone involved at FactCheckNI – volunteers, interns, committee members, team managers and the board – work under the fundamental principles of impartiality, transparency and accuracy.
Impartiality means that we assess claims across the political spectrum. We check all aspects of a claim, and provide the widest range of sources to back up our analysis and conclusions.
Typically, once a claim has been selected for investigation, a writer will be commissioned, and the final published article will have been edited by two people from our project team to verify the sources, check the analysis, and make sure the article conforms to our style guide and principles. For this reason, we do not publish individual author bylines.
Everyone working with us adheres to our code of conduct.
Are you trying to tell if a politician is lying?
We don’t examine the intent behind a statement.
We check what has been said or written. Claims are often not totally accurate or totally inaccurate. We believe it is important to present additional perspectives and nuances around a claim. The reader can assess whether a public representative is consistent with their use or abuse of facts.
How do I submit a claim to be fact checked?
Simply by completing our online form.
We cannot promise to check every claim suggested but we do promise to read all suggestions.
It’s helpful if you can provide as much information as possible, such as the date, a source, and any particular reason why you’re sceptical about the claim.
We will then submit it to our editorial process. We may not be able to reply how far we process it, yet we welcome claims from the public for consideration.
How can I help out?
If you like our work, you can help by giving a regular or one-off donation.
If you have expertise in one of our topics, and see fact checking as a way of improving the quality of public debate in Northern Ireland, then please let us know so we can talk further about using your knowledge and skills.
You could also assist us by forwarding claims to us to check.