Verification Statuses

NOTE: This is an experimental feature and may not be included on all relevant articles.

Due to the nature of the internet and how we as human have chosen to share our stories, there are thousands of seemingly sensational stories that break each week claiming to be authentic many of which are never able to be verified, some of which are outright false, and some of which are horrifically misleading either on purpose or due to a political/social bias by the story originator. We have all seen things like a video of a police encounter where the alleged perpetrator claims they were wrongly stopped and some horrible thing unfolds after a heated confrontation or a protest where a small video clip is used to smear a protestor/counter protestor. When this happens the internet gets outraged, and later we discover that the other side involved were vindicated or the social / moral / criminal wrongs of which they were accused. There are other stories where people simply make claims or post anonymous claims to websites like Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and 4Chan which are almost impossible to verify but which greedy media companies happily distribute as click-bait to drive high advertising revenues. The goal of many of these stories (but not all) is to manufacture outrage and anger in hopes of envigorating social changes or political changes the parties involved want, or even just to make personal gains such as online donations or even gaining social media followers in hopes of becoming an ‘influencer’.

Because this is the reality we live in and knowing that many of these frauds exist, when we cover stories where claims are made we will strive to notify you at the top of the article under “Status” how likely the facts we present below are likely to be true and verified. We verify stories based on a variety of factors including: the source of the story, visual evidence provided, secondary sources (i.e. other articles on the topic) we believe are likely truthful, and government or expert third-party provided data or insights.

None of these indicate a story is untrue and we won’t deem anything as a lie for you. We believe you are adults and capable of processing facts to form your own opinions. These levels merely indicate how much we were able to verify facts before publishing. We encourage you to use these as a rough guage and seek out more sources on the subject yourself. These are the various verification statuses you may encounter on our site. 

1. Not Verified – This will typically mean that a story has been sent to us and we determined it had enough editorial merit to publish but have been completely unable to verify any of the claims made using any technique of any kind. This may also be accompanied by futher warnings discussing the source of the story and/or an explanation of why we choose to publish it.

2. Partially Verified – This typically means that some of the facts in the story lined up, but that several holes in the story were unable to be verified. Oftentimes it will mean something like a quote from a person is verified but visual evidence, secondary evidence, and expert data were not aligned with the story at the time of publishing.

3. Mostly Verified – This typically means we can verify most of the information in a story due to the presence of visual evidence such as videos or photographs, a multitude of corroborating evidence from credible social media sources (will rarely be used as the threshold for ‘multitude’ is quite high), data from expert sources on the subject matter (who are unbiased by political/social views or incentives), similar facts from secondary sources such as trusted journalists who we know to also remove opinions from their reporting and/or clearly identify them. An example might be an online video that tells us a story with narration and provides visual evidence that supports most of the story and/or the core premise of the story they are telling. In this case if the narrator quotes people who are not in the video or cites a third-party as doing/saying something that is not in the video then we would label it as “Mostly Verified”.

4. Verified – A verified story is one in which we are able to verify with credible sources all major details, quotes, citations, and claims in the story. For example if a story quotes a third-party as having told them something, which is then verified on video, and the third-party then appears later in the video or another version of the story told via their own channel or another media outlet the story would be verified. Even if small, minor details are not able to be verified we are likely to label a story as verified. For example if someone claims a quote from a third-party but gets a few words wrong or in the wrong order, we would still say it is a verified story if that small mixup does not change the tone or facts of the story itself.