An independent platform specialized in verification and news scrutiny, which aims to resist the flow of false or misleading news, whether it is deliberately published for the purposes of political or ideological bias, or accidentally for the purposes of attracting the public to pages or sites spreading rumors.
Who We Are
Our platform was launched in April of 2018, and initially focused on false news in Egypt, then our activity expanded to include various Arab countries, at the hands of a group of independent journalists and researchers.
The platform is not affiliated with any political party, or press publishing organization. Motassadeq focuses in particular on resisting news that aims to spread hatred, or that entrenches socially negative concepts against women, minorities, and others.
First Stage: Choosing the Subject to Verification
• The work team begins daily by scanning the materials in order to submit proposals in the first working hours every morning, in addition to receiving materials or verification requests through public messages through our various digital platforms or through e-mail.
• It is ascertained that the news to be verified is in itself correct, meaning to verify whether the journalist or politician explaining the investigation really said those phrases?
• The editors sort the proposed materials and classify them to assign the team to work on them.
Priority material standards include:
A- It is related to the public interest, such as false scientific information related to the Corona vaccine, for example.
B- Exclusivity, meaning that it has not been previously corrected on our platform or other platforms operating in the same field.
C- Certainty, that is, the correction should not include aspects that mix with personal estimates and opinions, or informational aspects that cannot be proven true or false by reliable sources.
d- Consistency with values the platform supports, such as women's rights, freedom of expression, or minorities.
G- Extent of the spread of the rumor, for example, a rumor that has not received any republishing can be ignored, while it is necessary to react as quickly as possible to a rumor that has been circulated hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of times, and a tool provided by Facebook is used for documented verification pages, revealing what is “ Trend” now, with the aim of quickly checking it from the site’s partners, and quickly reporting and deleting it.
Phase Two: Verification
The team checks the required news and writes that information and results, through the following means:
1- Returning to primary and not secondary sources, for example viewing the entire text of the draft law and not quoting a lawyer who publishes his analysis, or direct contact with an international company to obtain information about its government contract.
2- We use Google's "deep search" mechanisms, such as time span, reverse image search, and others.
3- We may use “open source” tools to verify if the subject requires them to use them, including “location” or “aircraft flight tracking”
4- We may use technical procedures that require analysis of images or videos to detect tampering.
5- We may consult technical experts, such as consulting a specialist doctor regarding the Corona vaccine.
Phase Three: Fact-Checking and Editing
• A senior editor is responsible for reviewing the article, and challenging every detail in it, in order to make sure that no errors occur, and it may return to the article writer for discussion or clarification.
• The editor tries to stick to the "thickening" element to shorten posts or "script" the video.
• The editor-in-chief or whoever resists it assumes the role of ensuring that the process runs smoothly, as well as checking the facts for the third time himself if there are materials that may require it, especially with political dimensions.
• Editing includes adjusting the language, making sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. This includes if the material is written in colloquial Egyptian, which in turn has rules like any language.
Phase Four: Publication
* Every day a specialized colleague publishes content on our various platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our website.
* We may use paid advertising within our capabilities.
* News is categorized for archiving in the required system on the website according to several patterns to make it easier for the public to access materials in all images, whether by country, or by sections (politics, society, sports..etc), or according to public figures received, or according to the approved news classification we've got. (False, Segmented, etc.)
Phase Five: Periodic Evaluation and Training
• Periodic meetings are held to evaluate work and share experiences internally.
• The evaluation includes quantitative criteria (numbers of visits and viewers) as well as qualitative criteria (analysis of the audience's speech in comments and messages), and the team agrees on the best ways to respond.
• Members are trained as soon as there is anything new to learn collectively.
Stage Six: Complaints
If we receive complaints about any published material, whether on page messages or on e-mail, we are dealt with immediately and very seriously, and if an error is established on our part, we are committed to deleting the wrong material, apologizing to the affected party, and publishing the correction.
Our work parameters:
1- Political neutrality:
In light of the clear polarization in the Arab world, and the division of most of the traditional media into camps of support or opposition to competing political currents, our platform is keen that its work includes scrutiny of news from all sides.
2- Including the sources: Our coverage is not limited to written and visual media only, but also extends to what is published on personal and public pages on social networking sites, as well as statements of various public figures, including government officials and their opponents in various Arab countries.
3- Separation between information and opinion: We clearly distinguish between the concepts of news and opinion, where the news is based on information whose authenticity or falsehood can be categorically checked, which we can verify, while opinions differ according to the speaker and his orientation and cannot be subject to scrutiny.
4- Transparency: Our platform provides a full explanation of how we judge the news, so that any reader can apply the same rules or tools, or examine the sources themselves.
4- Simplification: We make sure that the language used is simplified, we started using the Egyptian colloquial when the news was limited to Egypt, and later we included the use of "Fusha al-Bayda", that is, the easiest and closest use of the classical words that are common with the vernacular. We also do not use technical or foreign terms except with an adequate explanation.
5- Partnership: We respect our audience and consider them to be an authentic partner in our work, and from this standpoint, we pay great attention to the content of the audience's suggestions for news that is requested to be verified, and we also receive complaints via e-mail and through our various digital platforms.
6- Providing support to the first groups We pay special attention to correcting news that has negative social consequences, such as hate speech and racism on any religious, ethnic, or sexual basis..etc. We also support freedom of expression, women's rights, and minorities.
7- Respect for intellectual property rights We use images that do not have rights, or attribute them to their photographer if he does not object, and we do not use video clips except within the legal frameworks in terms of the number of seconds and the parameters of the cadre, so that it is not subjected to deletion, and most importantly so that we do not violate the values we advocate for.
8- Visual perception Reliance on "graphics" images with a fixed frame, but characterized by flexibility, where the intense information is highlighted to include an expressive image and an attractive, concise and informative title. Materials are also converted into infographics or videos if possible.
We work on the basis of the six categories approved by the Facebook Company Directory:
1- False: The news is completely incorrect. 2- Partially false: the news has right and wrong parts or angles.
3- Fabricated: the news itself did not happen, such as attributing statements to a public figure while he did not say them.
4- Fragmented: the news is sound, but it has been manipulated, such as taking it out of context that changes the meaning, or such as choosing a misleading title.
5- Sarcastic: The news publisher deliberately changed the facts in order to ridicule, but some of the audience thought it was serious news. The publisher may or may not be a well-known satire such as a comedian's page or a satirical website.
6- It is true: after verifying the news, its authenticity appeared.
Claims Classification Guide
1- Believe/believe (true/false): concerned with correcting false or misleading content and stating the reasons for that ruling.
2- Where is the truth?: A lengthy and in-depth explanation of a story that carries a large number of details, which is more complex or more comprehensive than simplifying it in the form of true or completely false.
3- Know Yourself: A section dedicated to spreading the culture of checking news, and provides a full explanation of how to use some technical tools, so that any reader can try for himself to reach the truth of any image or video clip at least.
4- True, but: It is intended to explain the news in which an angle or information is omitted in order to direct it to misleading aspects despite the authenticity of the original information.
5- Video: Content to watch, may or may not include audio commentary, and may include visual evidence of correction.