Verificado 2018 is a collaborative election reporting initiative that seeks to verify the accuracy of information and fact-check politicians’ claims during the campaigns and Election Day. When information is false or taken out of context, we expose it with evidence that backs our debunks. If we make a mistake, we inform our audience and make it right.
Verificado 2018 brings journalism back to where it should be: at the service of the audience. We work with the conviction that a better quality of information and debate promotes better conditions to exercise a freer vote.
We fight against misinformation where it’s being spread: on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and other platforms. Through the hashtag #QuieroQueVerifiquen (#IWantYouToVerify), we receive requests for verification of claims and media.
Read about our methodology.
How did Verificado 2018 begin?
Verificado 2018 was founded by AJ+ Español, Animal Político and Pop-Up Newsroom and has a network of over 90 partners from media, academia and civil society, in which media from 28 of the 32 states are represented because we believe in and understand the importance local journalism as agent of change and information.
We launched on March 12 with a framing event that brought together more than 100 journalists and members of civil society that were trained in news verification and fact-checking skills and processes and actively participated in the design of Verificado’s collaborative workflow.
How does Verificado 2018 work?
Verificado’s newsroom includes a verification and fact-checking desk, and a multimedia desk – the first in this kind of initiative. Both are directed by the lead partners, where young journalists, producers, social media specialists, designers and editors, verify information, produce stories and interact with our audience.
During the presidential campaigns we work in a digital newsroom. To carry out this daily collaborative work, we use tools like Krzana and Slack, and verification platform Check. During election week and Election Day we will work from a physical newsroom.
Our editorial line is independent. It is guided by the principles of impartiality, accuracy, balance and responsibility. We do not have any political bias and none of the organizations that back us or form part of our partner network have any editorial incidence.
Verificado’s partner network actively participates in the initiative, whether by verifying information, which is revised and backed by Verificado’s newsroom before published, and/or by re-publishing and sharing our debunks and stories on their platforms and
AJ+ Español is Al Jazeera’s digital channel for young people in Latin America that connects them to each other and with the topics that matter to them. We are interested in voices that challenge the status quo, in featuring human struggles and achievements and local solutions to regional challenges.
We approach human stories from unique angles and present relevant stories with a fresh voice and from a local perspective, using innovative formats, tailored to specific platforms. Our priority are the voices of ordinary people over official ones.
Our production process is solid and follows a core journalistic principle: it is based on facts and verified data backed by reliable sources.
Animal Político is Mexico’s most important digital native news media. Its objective is to tell accurate, citizen-centered stories and leave behind traditional journalism, based on politicians’ statements. We privilege investigative journalism to explain and reveal how political decisions affect citizenship.
Seven years after its birth, Animal Politico has 1.8 million followers on Twitter and 1.3 million on Facebook, a unique reach in Mexico that we’ve built by maintaining a dialogue with the citizen. In 2015, it became the first Mexican media to have a fact-checking unit.
Animal’s work has been recognized with the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Award, the National Prize for Journalism, the German Walter Reuter Journalism Award and the Faces of Discrimination Award, among others.
Pop-Up Newsroom is an initiative created to support innovation in collaborative journalism by applying a design thinking methodology to address challenges across workflow, editorial and technology.
Founded in 2017 by Meedan and Dig Deeper Media, Pop-Up Newsroom has run election-related initiatives in the UK, Mexico and Sweden, and led project-related workshops in the US. The Pop-Up Newsroom founders were project leads on Electionland, worked on CrossCheck France, and have extensive social newsgathering, verification and technology experience.
We worked with more than 100 representatives from our partner network on a framing event to define metrics, roles and functions, and to collaboratively design our workflows, using problem-solving frameworks such as human-centered design and design-thinking.
Verificado 2018 is the first initiative of its kind that formally creates a dedicated, high quality multimedia desk, through which we produce visual content to present our debunks. Our journalistic approach is innovative: we combine formats that break with predefined creative models and present information in an attractive and concise way, with elements that inspire interaction with and participation of our audience.
Our audience does not only consume but also shares our debunks. We do not limit ourselves to videos. We are constantly experimenting with other formats, such as loops, graphics, GIFs, WhatsApp statuses, live broadcasts, social media cards, among others.
Tutorial: we show the public how to verify an image step by step.
Si una foto se ve rara, probablemente está manipulada, como esta de AMLO y López Dóriga. En Verificado 2018 te enseñamos lo fácil que es modificar una imagen.
Posted by AJ+ Español on Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Glossary: With slide decks developed specially for cell phones we clarify key terms to understand how disinformation campaigns operate.
Un bot de internet es un robot que automatiza un proceso o respuesta. Son muy útiles para servicio al cliente. pic.twitter.com/iBkJ5vlcJt
— AJ+ Español (@ajplusespanol) May 17, 2018
Videos with presenter: We explore complex and taboo themes, like the role of influencers in the campaign.
¿Sabías que un tuit a favor de un candidato puede llegar a costar hasta un millón de pesos? Chumel Torres y Arturo Hernández de Los Supercívicos hablan sobre los pagos a influencers.
Posted by AJ+ Español on Friday, April 20, 2018
Statuses updates on WhatsApp: Through our “Vertificados”, a format designed specifically for WhatsApp, we share our debunks of viral fake news with our WhatsApp community.
Verificado 2018 is the first initiative of its kind that formally incorporates an education vertical, focused on digital, verification and electoral literacy. We produce from tutorials to show our audience how to verify an image or video, to video explainers on how digital misinformation strategies work.
The fight against misinformation requires education and the active participation of communities. Ultimately, we seek to seize our impact to raise awareness on the importance of having a verification culture in media and society in Mexico, point out at how misinformation campaigns work in social media and empower people with the tools and techniques of basic verification processes.
¿Ya revisaste si apareces como militante de algún partido político sin tu consentimiento? AJ+ Español te explica cómo hacerlo:
Posted by Verificado 2018 on Monday, May 7, 2018
We setup fact-checking teams, designed specifically for the Presidential debates, in which policy experts and journalists collaborate together. This is also the first effort of its kind in Mexico. We publish our debunks the day after to provide our audience with accurate and timely information for the post-debate conversation. On the first debate, we fact-checked 27 claims of all Presidential candidates.
We livestream the debates from our Facebook page and/or Twitter handle. We created a visual counter for each debate, where the audience participates with us by counting and submitting points for each pre-established category for each candidate.
Live debate transmission with counter:
Sigue aquí el segundo debate presidencial desde Tijuana. Estaremos llevando el contador, ¿crees que se nos pasó una? Escríbenos en los comentarios.
Posted by Verificado 2018 on Sunday, May 20, 2018
Glossary and counter:
Sigue el debate con nosotros, esta vez también estaremos monitoreando las veces que los candidatos usen las palabras “Trump” y “Muro”. ¿Nos ayudas a contar? #DebateINE
Our WhatsApp Account
Verificado’s WhatsApp line interacts in a personalized way with the audience. Instead of using broadcast lists, we opt for an individual relationship: we respond to the information that each user sends us to verify.
Additionally, we use other tools offered by the platform. Through the statuses feature, we share our debunks in order to generate a reliable information ecosystem around our WhatsApp community. Also, our subscribers can request by message these visual stories on their own WhatsApp and share them with their contacts. This way, our WhatsApp community uses Verificado 2018 content and becomes a spokesperson and active distributor of accurate information.
Verificado In Numbers
In 8 weeks of Verificado (12 March-14 May):
Our best success stories are the recognition of, interaction and collaboration with the audience. Through the hashtag #QuieroQueVerifiquen (#IWantYouToVerify), we receive requests through Facebook and Twitter.
Verificado 2018 as reference in the electoral conversation
The day after the first Presidential debate, Twitter had a new trending topic: #MentirasDeAnaya (#Anaya’sLies). In fact-checking the debate, Verificado questioned Anaya’s claim that under Lopez Obrador’s stewardship, kidnappings in Mexico City had increased 88%. Anaya’s team, in response, provided their methodology and data for their claim. Subsequently, Verificado published a thorough analysis of the different methodologies, finding that the base for Anaya’s claim was weak and misleading. The topic sparked a series of articles debating how to measure security in Mexico, and the weaknesses of different indicators and methodologies.
We explained to the audience how 14 of 17 trending topics related to the elections and analyzed during a week were put out by bots.
Verificado 2018 debunks information circulating that Margarita Zavala, then Presidential candidate, withdrew her candidacy because her brother’s company was hired by the National Electoral Institute (INE) to carry out the Preliminary Electoral Results (PREP)
— Lorenzo Córdova V. (@lorenzocordovav) May 18, 2018
Carlos Campos Riojas, director de Massive Caller, dijo a @VerificadoMX que Ricardo Anaya (@RicardoAnayaC) contrató a su encuestadora por 4.6 millones de pesos. https://t.co/HwFFCNtzo0 pic.twitter.com/HUFs889a7j
— El Financiero (@ElFinanciero_Mx) May 2, 2018