“What the EU trades with Russia in fourManipulationგანცხადებაში გაჟღერებული ფაქტები/რიცხვები მეტ-ნაკლებად სწორია, თუმცა სრული კონტექსტი განზრახ არის დამახინჯებული;-en
“Russian nationals purchased 10,000 aparTrueThe statement is accurate and nothing is missing
“Tbilisi City Hall purchased Russian metTrueThe statement is accurate and nothing is missing
FactCheck (www.factcheck.ge) is an innovative media project implemented by Georgia’s Reforms Associates which was modelled on popular and successful international analogues (www.politfact.com, www.factcheck.org) and thereby, in 2013, introduced the fact-checking culture for the first time in Georgia.
Georgia’s Reforms Associates, founded in 2012, is a multi-profile analytical think-tank whose major fields of activities include research and analysis of Georgia’s foreign, security and public policy as well public administration. For more details about activities, founders, board, charter and funding of Georgia’s Reforms Associates see relevant sections at www.grass.org.ge.
FactCheck’s Editorial Board is responsible for FactCheck’s editorial policy and compliance with fact-checking principles. The Editorial Board carries out monitoring, topic selection, article publication and correction policy independently from Georgia’s Reforms Associates’ Board and Director.
FactCheck works toward measuring the factual accuracy of the public statements of politicians and other public figures. In addition, FactCheck aims to verify fake news being disseminated in social networks/media outlets and provide the public with true and correct information.
Our portal, www.factcheck.ge, is a non-biased programme which offers readers researched, verified and evidence-based information in the Georgian, Russian and English languages. FactCheck’s website is also available in the Armenian and the Azerbaijani languages.
Supporters of the project have been the Embassy of the United States of America to Georgia, USAID, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), German Marshall Fund, European Endowment for Democracy, etc. For more details about FactCheck’s finances (donors, content of activities carried out with external funding and amount of grants), please visit the Georgia’s Reforms Associates’ website. Independence and impartiality for FactCheck is pivotal in dealing with donor organisations and private companies and contracts signed specifically rule out any interference from them in editorial policy.
FactCheck is a team of motivated and like-minded individuals and brings together young professionals in the fields of journalism, economics, law, international relations, public policy and other realms.
FactCheck’s team monitors MPs, the President, government officials and other public figures and highlights the factual accuracies and inaccuracies in their statements. As part of the project, only the factual accuracy of statements made in regard to issues of high public interest is verified. Of importance is that the ideas/assumptions and personal opinions of the politicians/public figures are not verified. (See FactCheck’s methodology for more details).
Therefore, FactCheck’s main objectives are as follows:
- Providing precise, accurate and evidence-based information to readers
- Increasing the accountability and responsibility of politicians to their constituencies
- Promoting the development of fact-based political rhetoric
- Verification of disinformation disseminated in social networks and on the internet and providing accurate information to readers.
Fact-checking the veracity of information spread on the Internet
In addition to the statements made by the politicians and public figures, FactCheck Georgia also reviews claims spread on social networks and the Internet. Since September 2020, FactCheck Georgia is a partner to Meta’s (Facebook) third-party fact-checking program. Within the program, FactCheck Georgia reviews the veracity of the content spread on Meta’s platforms. FactCheck Georgia’s work within the program is guided by the principles of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and Meta's Fact-Checking Program policy.
Meta demotes the spread of content rated as False, Altered or Partly False by FactCheck Georgia and makes it appear lower in the News Feed. This significantly reduces the spread of false information and the number of people who see it.
Pages, groups, accounts and websites that repeatedly share misinformation automatically lose the ability to monetize and advertise. Meta also clearly labels rated false content, giving the people ability to see whether the information is true before try to share such content.
FactCheck’s work style and detailed working methodology can be found here.
Political impartiality and editorial independence
Impartiality and independence are guiding principles for FactCheck. To protect these principles, both FactCheck and Georgia’s Reforms Associates are equipped with different mechanisms that ensure the effective implementation of the organisation’s impartiality and independence policy, including: funding transparency policy, conflict of interests policy, prohibition to be involved in partisan activities as stipulated by the Regulations, transparency of work, social media and public space code of conduct for employees and external reviews.
It is inadmissible for FactCheck to enter into any agreement with political parties or carry out such activities that may endanger the programme’s independence and impartiality. It is part of the same approach that FactCheck does not receive funding from political parties and its editorial policy is not controlled by the government, any political party or any politician. It is prohibited for FactCheck’s employees to accept any gift, assistance or service with beneficial terms that may go beyond the general boundaries of respect and courtesy.
FactCheck does not employ or immediately terminates the employment contract with any individual who takes a position in a political party or in the public service. It is inadmissible for FactCheck to make endorsements in favour of any political party or politician on FactCheck’s behalf.
In turn, Georgia’s Reforms Associates, as the parent organisation, also does not receive funding from political parties. Membership of Georgia’s Reforms Associates Board and team is terminated when an individual joins any political party or/and takes an official position. The parent organisation, which carries out research and advocacy in the fields of public policy, including foreign and security policy, does not advocate on FactCheck’s behalf when the issue at stake is not part of the fight against disinformation, media issues, and fact-checking topics. In addition, all cases when the position of Georgia’s Reforms Associates may cause a conflict of interests as a part of a publication produced by FactCheck will be clearly indicated in line with the conflict of interests policy (see below).
FactCheck team members, as representatives of civil society, are naturally entitled to have their own views vis-à-vis different political issues. However, the organisation’s Code of Conduct urges them to refrain from openly expressing their personal political preferences to avoid any harm to their content and FactCheck’s impartiality principle in general.
In addition, if a FactCheck analyst has a potential conflict of interest when verifying any issue/statement, the analyst will discontinue work on the issue and this will be indicated in the article in the form of comment/note (see example).
Georgia’s Reforms Associates Financial Report for 2022.
In 2023, FactCheck became participant of Meta’s Accelerator Challenge as a part of which the Blue Engine company helps FactCheck Georgia for 100 days in order to improve communications.
FactCheck’s work style and detailed working methodology can be found here.
Last update - February 2023.