Taiwan FactCheck Foundation(TFC) is a non-profit/non- government organization jointly established by the Association for Quality Journalism and Taiwan Media Watch Foundation in April 2018. In December 2020, TFC is legally registered as an independent foundation, Taiwan FactCheck Foundation.
TFC’s mission is to fact-check claims related to public interest issues to promote reliable information, digital literacy, and improve the information ecology in Taiwan. All our effort is to make Taiwan a better and stronger democratic society.
TFC has been a verified signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN)’s Code of Principles since November 2018. We are committed to non-partisanship, fairness, transparency of sources, funding, organization, and methodology. Since May 2019, TFC has joined Facebook's third-party fact-checking program as its first partner in Taiwan to rate and review the accuracy of the content on the Facebook platform.
When what now is known as COVID-19 first broke out in China, TFC was the first fact-checking organization to alert the potential disinformation threat to IFCN in January 2020, which led to the launch of the biggest ever fact-checking project, CoronaVirusFacts Alliance. The alliance unites more than 100 fact-checkers across the globe and has published more than 10000 fact-checks surrounding the pandemic.
June 2020, TFC's fact-check about election fraud published on the presidential election night won the Best Correction Award at Global Fact 7. This award is to praise the significant impact fact-checkers could carry on the world. That night, TFC managed to debunk a video claiming the voting system's rigging to prevent potential unrest after the election, helping to protect the progress of Taiwan's young democracy.
TFC’s fact-checking operation is based on the principles of openness, transparency, rigor, and accountability. All fact checks are built on verified material. Our fact-checking process follows a rigorous review methodology. The daily fact-checking items are selected at the fact-checking meeting. The fact-checking report should be reviewed by at least three fact-checking personnel before its publication.
How we select claims to check
We fact-check and verify false information, either coming from media coverage or online rumors. TFC covers a wide range of public interest themes, including health care, environmental ecology, educational debates, gender issues, business activities, and government policies.
On political issues, the subjects of fact-checking are selected across different ideological positions. TFC strives to give each position equal attention even though the TFC does not attempt to set an absolute balance in terms of numbers of items fact-checked among the varied positions. To avoid a significant imbalance, besides reviewing subjects during the initial selection process, we continuously monitor the statistics of the fact-checks involving political affairs among various positions in the weekly meetings.
Besides, each fact-check explains its process. A complete list of source material, information, and data used for verification is attached at the end of the report. Hyperlinks are embedded when the source and documents referenced in the report can be accessed online as well as key sections are presented in screenshots. Regarding information acquired by interviewing experts and scholars, the names and titles of the interviewers are clearly listed in the report, too.
How users can communicate with us
Our website lists all members of TFC, including the members of the TFC board and the staff. We encourage our audiences to communicate with us. Users can reach out to TFC via various contact methods listed on TFC’s website, including telephone, fax, e-mail, and social accounts. Furthermore, each fact-check has a comment section at the end of the article where registered users are free to express their comments.
Among the social platforms, the most convenient access for the audience use is TFC's LINE chatbot. When the claims are re-shared to TFC's chatbot, the chatbot will send back a fact check which is matched up with it.
How users send it claims to check
We constantly remind users to send in claims to check and provide multiple user-friendly methods. When spotting a suspicious claim, doubtful news to check, users can submit the claim on TFC’s appeal page.
On the appeal page, we have a FAQ section for common questions to guide users through the submission process, as well as to reiterate what a checkable claim is and to manage their expectations.
On top of that, we also encourage audiences to add TFC’s account, an auto-reply chatbot, on LINE to share questionable content they receive or spot on LINE with us. The links to TFC’s LINE Chatbot are presented on the top-right of the main page.
TFC’s correction policy
Taiwan FactCheck Center clearly lays out its correction policy which is available on the website. The policy explains how the public can comment on the fact-check, how TFC handles the public opinion internally, and how TFC publishes its corrections.
TFC has no commercial, financial or institutional relationship to the state, politicians or political parties in the countries TFC covers, nor receives funding from a local or foreign state or political sources.
Our funding mainly comes from donations contributed by enterprises, foundations, and individuals. TFC posts its donations acceptance policy on the website, stipulating that “to maintain the independence of operations, TFC does not accept donations from governments, political parties, and politicians.” Also, TFC exercises its editorial control independently and is not influenced by donors.
Reports about TFC
Global Voices, "Verifying the 2020 presidential elections: An interview with the Taiwan Fact Check Center," February 25, 2020
VOA News, "Which Coronavirus Reports Are Fake? Ask These Fact Checkers," February 28, 2020
BuzzFeed News, "Chinese Trolls Are Spreading Coronavirus Disinformation In Taiwan,” March 5, 2020
The New York Times, "Surge of Virus Misinformation Stumps Facebook and Twitter,” March 8, 2020
NPR, "With Odds Against It, Taiwan Keeps Coronavirus Corralled," March 13, 2020
Poynter, "Global Fact 7 begins a week-long celebration of fact-checking," June 22, 2020
Focus Taiwan, "Taiwan fact-checking group wins award for debunking vote rigging claim," June 27, 2020
NPR, "Taiwan Gets Tough On Disinformation Suspected From China Ahead of Elections," December 6, 2019