Unlike traditional fact-checking organizations, Bitpress News uses a data science platform combined with human fact-checking analysts to identify and rate misinformation at scale. This means that our process differs a bit from other organizations.
The Bitpress News data science platform identifies stories and articles that have been contradicted by different news sources online. It also provides an impact score for each article by looking at how widely it has been shared or read on social media sites.
When choosing stories for our analysts to fact-check, we select the ones with the highest impact scores and identified contradictions from different news sources. We often select stories that cannot be definitively proven or disproven, as we believe it is important to highlight this uncertainty for readers. You can read more about this in our Ratings section.
Users can also flag specific articles to bring them to our attention. Anyone can flag a story in our online Bitpress Stories application.
Bitpress News calls our fact-checks ‘Misinformation Alerts’. Misinformation Alerts are brief overviews that list:
The source or sources of the claim
A brief summary that explains the reasoning for the rating
A more detailed background section that lists all relevant information
We intentionally keep Misinformation Alerts as brief as possible, but aim to provide all relevant information.
Bitpress News always lists and links to sources used to help prove or disprove a Misinformation Alert. When possible, we use primary sources of information. In the case of Tweets or videos, these sources will be embedded in the page.
If a source article has been changed or removed, we will occasionally link to a site that displays an archived view of the article.
We currently assign every claim one of seven possible ratings:
True – Applied only when a claim is demonstrably true. Publicly available evidence must be available that proves the claim.
Probably True – Applied when available evidence supports the truth of a claim, but does not definitively prove it.
Uncertain – Applied when not enough information exists to make a determination on the veracity of a claim.
Probably False – Applied when available evidence refutes the truth of a claim, but does not definitively disprove it.
False – Applied only when a claim is demonstrably false. Publicly available evidence must be available that disproves the claim.
Misleading - Used for articles or claims that are factually accurate but have the potential to mislead the reader, whether intentional or not. In determining if an article can be misleading, we look at several factors:
If the headline provides appropriate context
If the article is organized to provide contextual information quickly
If reader responses to the article (typically observed on social media platforms) show that readers were misled
Opinion – Applied to bring attention to opinion pieces that my be misinterpreted as factual reporting.
Bitpress fights to prevent all people from being misinformed - no matter their partisanship. To maintain the trust of our readers across the political spectrum, we provide factual reporting that is free of bias or opinion. The trust of our readers is guarded dearly.
Therefore, while we acknowledge that employees may have private political affiliations, we prohibit employees from expressing these publicly. Staff writers are required to maintain a neutral online presence.
Bitpress News addresses errors in a method consistent with the gravity of the error.
Typos or grammatical corrections will be made without notice.
Significant updates to a story after publishing are posted in the “Changelog” section for each fact-check.
If a rating is changed because of new or uncovered information, a flag is placed at the top of the fact-check to notify readers.
April has spent four years working closely at the intersection of technology and journalism, building products that help local newspapers. As a founder of Bitpress News, she wears many hats, including writing and editing Misinformation Alerts.
Young is an editor and contributor to Bitpress News, having worked in the media and marketing industry for over six years. Previously, she was a photojournalist for SXSW, and managed digital marketing for Euphoria and The Vera List Center.
Jon has a background in statistical and predictive analytics, and served as the first News Analyst for Bitpress News.
Bitpress News welcomes all inquiries or feedback regarding our Misinformation Alerts, including submissions for claims to fact-check. Please contact April Halasz, Head of Product & Operations.