Fact-checking is an essential part of the modern news cycle, but with it comes the responsibility to be accurate in your reporting. We at Astral Citizens always double-source our claims, triple-check them, and then do it again to ensure that we’re delivering you nothing less than the facts.
- Fact-checking refers to the process of evaluating the accuracy of information. It is often used in journalism and can be done by a single person or by teams of people working together.
- We work hard to ensure that what we report is accurate, fair, and factual. This means that if there are facts that are unclear, we will go back and verify them before publishing anything. If they’re still unclear after investigation, we’ll publish them anyway with a note saying “unverified.” Our goal is to make sure that only things we know for certain are ever published; this helps our readers trust us more than other news sources (like fake news).
- We also want people who read our articles—especially those who may be new to this kind of reporting—to understand why it matters when someone calls something true but actually isn’t true at all! For example: If someone says they went skiing yesterday but you know they didn’t go skiing because HEY YOU’RE SKIING RIGHT NOW!! That’s what makes fact-checking so important; when someone tells an untruthful story about themselves being somewhere else doing something different from where I am right now…well THEN IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW WE WERE IN DIFFERENT PLACES AT THE SAME TIME AND THE OTHER PERSON WAS LYING ABOUT THEIR OWN LIFE STORY!
What we fact-check
Fact-checkers evaluate claims that are made in the news and by public figures, politicians, celebrities, pundits, and the public. We look at what is said as well as what is not said. We also consider the context: who said it and where they are speaking from.
We do not fact-check statements about personal opinions or beliefs unless those opinions or beliefs are relevant to an issue of national importance — for example, a candidate for office saying he does not believe in evolution.
How we fact-check
This policy is meant to provide a framework for fact-checkers to use in the course of their work. The following points outline how we fact-check claims:
- We use a variety of sources. The best way to check a claim is by contacting the person who made it and asking them about it directly—this could be an interview or exchange with an editor or spokesperson on social media, or emailing a public official who might know more about the topic at hand, etc. In other cases, there may be sufficient information available from other publicly available sources that can help us verify or debunk something more quickly than through direct contact with someone involved in making those statements (such as research published in peer-reviewed journals).
- We always double-source our claims. For each fact check we publish, we strive to cite two independent sources that back up our conclusions; ideally, these would come from different types of publications (e.g., academic papers versus newspaper articles) so readers can see how researchers came up with similar results using different methods—that’s proof that what they found isn’t cherry-picked data meant only to prove one side’s point.
- We use a variety of methods for checking facts such as interviews and correspondence via phone/email/Twitter DMs with people involved in making such claims; searching newspaper databases like LexisNexis Academic Universe or ProQuest Newsstand; researching court documents; exploring government websites; reviewing scientific studies published by respected international journals (like Nature); etc.”
Where we check claims
Fact-checkers at Astral Citizens scour the internet for incorrect and misleading claims. We fact-check claims made by the public, politicians, public figures, companies, and organizations.
Fact-checkers also research claims made in the news media as well as on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This is a source of many of our fact checks.
When we find new information that contradicts a claim that has previously been reported on by The Fact Checker or another publication (or if there hasn’t been much reporting), we will often conduct additional research and publish another story explaining what we found — even if it means updating an existing article with new details about what happened or who said what.
We always double-source our claims, triple-check them, and then do it again
Fact-checking is a crucial part of journalism. It prevents the spread of misinformation, and it ensures that your readers get the most accurate information possible.
To ensure that our readers are getting only the truth, we double-source every claim we make in our articles: We do not rely on just one source for information! We also triple-check each fact before publishing it by consulting two other sources. Then we check again just to be sure! If something isn’t up to date or needs additional clarification, we update it until it’s fully accurate. For example, if someone says “The sky is blue,” but you know this person tends to be wrong about everything else they say (they’re kind of an idiot), then go ahead and triple-check by looking at your own eyes instead.
The goal of this policy is to make sure that our readers are able to trust the information they’re reading. We want to provide you with clear explanations of what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. If there’s ever a question about something that doesn’t seem right, please contact us directly so we can investigate further or add an update if necessary: [email protected]