Code of Principles | Lead Stories

Lead Stories is a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers' Code of Principles and every year our compliance is verified by an IFCN assessor. If you wish to report a violation of the code by Lead Stories to the IFCN, you can do so here (note: if you want to appeal a fact check you should do so via our contact page).

Below are the key commitments of the code and more info about how Lead Stories complies with them:

A COMMITMENT TO NONPARTISANSHIP AND FAIRNESS

We fact-check claims using the same standard for every fact check. We do not concentrate our fact-checking on any one side. We follow the same process for every fact check and let the evidence dictate our conclusions. We do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues we fact-check.

At Lead Stories we look for harmful viral misinformation to fact check no matter the ideological slant or bias it has (if any) and we use the same process and article format for each fact check. You can read more about our process here.

As a service to readers who are only interested in reading fact checks that benefit (or harm) only one side of the U.S. political debate we offer a Red feed and a Blue feed with just the fact checks they are likely to enjoy but we hope they will also check our full feed.

None of our writers or editors are members of political parties, currently support any parties or candidates for office or have made donations to political organisations while under our employ and we ask them to refrain from doing so. We also ask that they refrain from advocating for or against any policy positions on any issues (save for transparency and accuracy in public debate). We verify this by checking FEC records and social media.

We offer commercial access to our Trendolizer™ engine, including to political parties or campaigns that ask for it. All are offered the same conditions including a clause in the Terms of Service that explicitly says using Trendolizer™ does not confer any influence, privilege or say about our editorial work. At the time of writing only the DNC/DCCC requested access and accepted the conditions but the option is open to other parties/campaigns as well (see the note on our "About" page). Trendolizer™ fees are deliberately kept low in order to ensure individual user fees never make up more than a tiny fraction of our total budget. This minimizes the potential for users to have leverage over us by threatening to cancel their account.

A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF SOURCES

We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work, except in cases where a source's personal security could be compromised. In such cases, we provide as much detail as possible.

Where possible we always link to the articles or posts we are discussing so our readers can go look for themselves. If we think there is a risk the site or page might go down or be altered we will occasionaly also use archive.org to create and link to a snapshot of something the way it was at the time we wrote our own article.

If we use online resources to check a claim we will include a link to these sources in the article.

When we use people or organisations as a source we will mention where the information came from (or who we didn't hear back from).

A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF FUNDING & ORGANIZATION

We are transparent about our funding sources. If we accept funding from other organizations, we ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our reports. We detail the professional background of all key figures in our organization and explain our organizational structure and legal status. We clearly indicate a way for readers to communicate with us.

Lead Stories mainly relies on income from our participation in Facebook's Third-Party Fact Checking Partnership, consulting work and revenue from selling access to the Trendolizer engine. Lead Stories is a Colorado-registered LLC. Read more about us, our financing and our writers on our about page. We can be contacted through phone and email, full details on our contact page.

A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF METHODOLOGY

We explain the methodology we use to select, research, write, edit, publish and correct our fact checks. We encourage readers to send us claims to fact-check and are transparent on why and how we fact-check.

You can read more on how our process works here. If you have a tip for us or want us to check something, please let us know, or contact details are on our contact page.

A COMMITMENT TO OPEN AND HONEST CORRECTIONS

We publish our corrections policy and follow it scrupulously. We correct clearly and transparently in line with our corrections policy, seeking so far as possible to ensure that readers see the corrected version.

You can read our corrections policy here and see our Corrections page here.

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

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