Cekfakta.com Playbook ID
Table of Contents
As CekFakta.com was born from the spirit of collaboration, all of its collaborative working procedures were based on discussions to achieve consensus. In the event of objection from CekFakta.com network partners on any of the clauses governing the collaboration, the other stakeholders will strive to arrive at a compromise and come up with a solution.
The key to ensuring the smooth running of the collaboration, therefore, lies in effective coordination and communication. In the beginning, CekFakta.com activists met regularly, with participating media taking turns hosting these meetings. The meeting usually discussed the planning of upcoming events and other relevant issues.
Following its declaration in May 2018, CekFakta.com had prioritized the strengthening of its organization and supporting infrastructure. At the time, the participating media agreed to set up a workflow for the selection and publication of fact-checking content on CekFakta.com.
The first alternative was to set up an RSS Feed system where all the contents produced by fact-checkers in participating media and institutions would simultaneously be made available for retrieval into CekFakta.com content management system. The model required work at the beginning of the process to synchronize the systems of the networked media with that of CekFakta.com, but once the mechanism was up and running, the publication process would require no more resources.
The second alternative was to use a manual model. In this model, each media outlet in the network would appoint a person-in-charge within their organization to select the content to be published on CekFakta.com. In the manual model, media outlets would retain the ability to screen and decide which content to be broadcast to the public and other members of the network.
Following a series of discussions, it was decided that both models would be used on CekFakta.com. The persons-in-charge in participating media outlets could then decide for themselves which model to use to upload their fact-checking content. This option was considered to be a compromise to avoid forcing one particular model on the participating media.
Such compromise characterized the works done on CekFakta.com. We are aware that as a collaboration, the main commitment that binds the members of the network is the collective awareness of the danger of hoaxes and the desire to work together. In this regard, more flexibility is required on operational level to ensure that the network could continue to expand as more media sign up to join.
Another challenge in the early days of CekFakta.com was inconsistency in the fact-checking done by participating media outlets. Such a case happened in early July 2018 with the news about Indonesian sprinter Lalu Mohammad Zohri who took part in the under-20 world’s athletic championship in Finland. It was reported that after winning the 100 meter event, Zohri had done a victory lap wearing an upside-down Polish flag.
A number of digital media reported the incident based on material collected from social media, where the Athletic Federation of Poland announced that the flag Zohri was wearing had come from one of their officials. But complications came when the Indonesian Athletic Association (PASI) denied the claim and called the report a hoax. Of course, PASI claim was also published in online media. Consequently, even the media participating in CekFakta.com published two versions of the incidents.
The solution to this inconsistency in fact-checking results turned out to be quite simple. The key was comprehensive fact-checking that relied on primary sources. Several media that participated in CekFakta.com directly interviewed the officials of the Athletic Federation of Poland and acquired the authentic evidence of photographs showing the Polish flag being handed to Zohri. On the other hand, the claim made by PASI officials was not entirely false either. At the end of the victory lap, they managed to catch up with Zohri to give him the Indonesian flag they had in hand from the beginning.
The lesson learned from this incident was the importance of comparing fact-checking methods in the event of differences in fact-checking outcome. If the fact-checking media have agreed on the same method, then the difference could generally be traced back to different sources and material used in fact-checking. In addition, we have also agreed to make use of internal communication mechanisms prior to publishing potentially controversial articles. If two media outlets came up with different conclusions regarding a particular hoax, they could use the CekFakta.com mechanism to communicate the difference and come up with a solution.
Another issue that cropped up was inaccuracy in the news published by one of the participating media outlets, which was then fact-checked by other media. This raised the concern that should one of the participating media produce content that is labeled a hoax, it would undermine the credibility of the media and journalism in general. In certain cases, this might be due to the carelessness on the part of the newsroom when publishing articles that might potentially be manipulated and twisted into a hoax.
In these cases, CekFakta.com communication mechanisms could again serve as a solution. When a participating media outlet identifies an article in another media that might be used as the basis for a hoax, we will notify the editor-in-chief of the media outlet in question. This internal correction mechanism allows newsrooms whose content was fact-checked to conduct internal investigation and trace the possibility of error. And in the case of an actual error, the newsroom should also immediately issue a correction.
This model has proved effective in a number of such cases involving the media participating in CekFakta.com. Special treatment is reserved for any journalism produced by participating media to maintain the credibility of media and journalism in general. This is done to prevent mainstream media that follow certain journalism and reporting standards being accused of distributing a hoax. And when an error has been made, correction and apology must immediately be issued. This mechanism is in accordance with the cyber media guidelines issued by the Indonesian Press Council.
Internal correction is also crucial in improving the quality of reporting in the media participating in the CekFakta.com network. Every newsroom in the network is fully aware of the fact that their content is being scanned and monitored so as not to be used as a basis for a hoax. In this way every newsroom will become extra-vigilant against such a possibility. Ultimately, it is hoped that this will contribute to the ongoing improvement of reporting in online media. (*)
- Work mechanisms and standard operating procedures within the CekFakta.com collaborative network are designed on the basis of consensus. Compromises were necessarily made to come up with the most flexible mechanism that accommodates the interest of every network participant.
- Communication and coordination mechanisms are the key to solving potential problems. Differences in fact-checking results may be reconciled by tracing the methods and information sources used in the process.
- Members of CekFakta.com network can also use the forum to correct the content of other participating media, which might be manipulated to create a hoax. Internal correction mechanism helps in maintaining the credibility of media and journalism in general and in continuously improving the quality of reporting.
- There is an agreed upon mechanism to identify every hoax that becomes the topic of conversation on the internet.
- Hoaxes that are identified are compiled on a dashboard run by Mafindo and connected to the newsrooms of the media participating in CekFakta.com network.
- Media newsrooms and Mafindo fact-checkers verify the information found in the hoax. The result is then published in the respective media outlet, as well as on Yudistira database.
- The API on the Yudistira database is connected to the CekFakta.com website.
- Every fact-checking content published on CekFakta.com may be used by media outlets participating in the network, as well as any media that file a request for permission to publish the content.