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About Us

We rake for FACTS

FactRakers is a Philippines-based fact-checking initiative of journalism majors at the University of the Philippines-Diliman working under the supervision of Assistant Professor Yvonne T. Chua of the University of the Philippines’ Journalism Department.   Assistant Professor Ma. Diosa Labiste, also of the Journalism Department, serves as editorial consultant.

The name of the initiative, coined from the words “fact” and “raker,” is inspired by the term “muckrakers,” first used in the early 1900s by American president Theodore Roosevelt to express his annoyance at progressive, reform-minded journalists at the time.

Fact checking started as an activity in Chua's Journalism Ethics class (J110) in 2014. Following the successful fact-checking efforts of J110 students in the 2016 general elections, it became one of the full-semester seminar courses (Journ 196) offered to journalism majors starting Academic Year 2017-18.  The students' fact checks in the 2016 elections formed the core of “Is that so?”, which the media nonprofit VERA Files adopted and later spun off as VERA Files Fact Check.  Chua cofounded VERA Files.

Students enrolled in the UPD’s fact-checking seminar course again played a vital role in Tsek.ph, a groundbreaking collaborative fact-checking initiative that brought together three universities and 11 media organizations to fact-check the 2019 midterm elections. Their output accounted for the majority of fact checks produced by the initiative.  Chua and Labiste, who have done research on disinformation and mal-information in the Philippines, coordinated the Tsek.ph partnership.

FactRakers is committed to continue this tradition by adhering to the  standards and principles of fact checking set by the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter.  It hopes to expand its pool of fact checkers beyond the university’s boundaries and instill a fact-checking mindset in more Filipinos.

FactRakers has initially adopted the ratings started by Tsek.ph, but may increase them as the need arises to better reflect its conclusions. The Tsek.ph ratiings are:

ACCURATE: The statement/claim is demonstrably factual and true.

                     

FALSE: The statement/claim is demonstrably contrary to available facts.

         

MISLEADING: The statement/claim gives a vague or different impression.

             

NEEDS CONTEXT: The statement/claim needs more facts or clarification because it may be taken out of context.

NO BASIS: The statement/claim cannot be verified or fact-checked.

   

The fact checks by Factrakers are covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) license.

Meet the FactRakers: Yvonne T. Chua | Ma. Diosa Labiste | Gab Alicaya | Enrico Berdos | Michelle Francesca Co | Jo Comuyog | Joseph Charles Lim | Aimee Lontok  | Bryan Daniele Manalang | Ed Mercene | Moira Natividad | Hannah Millenne Pagaduan