Truthsquad FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are some frequently asked questions about NewsTrust's Truthsquad experiment. Click on any question below to learn more about this service, which is now in pilot stage. If you still have questions, .


About this FAQ

What is this FAQ?
This FAQ answers questions about NewsTrust's Truthsquad service. If you would like more specific information about using NewsTrust, check our other FAQs:

  • General FAQ:
  • for general questions about NewsTrust and our website
  • Member FAQ:
  • for questions about viewing and editing our member profiles
  • MyNews FAQ:
  • for questions about your MyNews and My Network pages
  • Reviewer FAQ:
  • for questions about our story review and submission forms
  • Host FAQ:
  • for questions about our story and source edit forms

    How can I make a suggestion or report a problem? To help us improve our service, please share your feedback or report any issues by email, at . Thanks for your patience during our beta phase.


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    About Truthsquad

    What is Truthsquad? Truthsquad is a community fact-checking experiment in which we investigate claims from politicians or media pundits -- and collectively determine if they are true or false. During our pilot, our editors post controversial claims from time to time and invite our community to fact-check these claims. Participants can rate the accuracy of these claims, as well as post and review links to factual evidence, and discuss them with other members. Each Truthsquad page displays supporting, opposing and neutral links, along with their average NewsTrust ratings, to help you weigh the evidence.

    At the end of each Truthsquad, our editors will share their findings and give the claim a rating, based on answers from the community and their own research, with links to links to factual evidence about that claim.

    How do you pick claims for Truthsquad? NewsTrust editors, along with our partners and advisors, jointly select claims to be fact-checked, quoting them from recent news reports, opinions, speeches, press releases or political ads.

    If you would like to suggest a claim you think we should fact-check, the quote you recommend we investigate, along with a link to a web page that cites that claim. Understand that our resources are very limited during this pilot stage, so we may not be able to use all your suggestions.

    How can I participate in Truthsquad? To participate in Truthsquad, you need to be logged in as a NewsTrust member. If you already have a NewsTrust account, login here. If you do not have a NewsTrust account, sign up here.

    Once you have logged in as a member, start by reading the Truthsquad overview page, where you can pick a claim you'd like to fact-check. This will take you to our claim page, where we invite you to read the claim, as well as check some of the links to related evidence, before posting your answer.

    Why should I check related links? Before you answer, we encourage you to check some of the related links, to learn more about this claim. These links may provide useful factual evidence on this topic.

    For each claim we fact-check, NewsTrust editors and members collectively add links to factual evidence that supports, opposes, or provides more information on that claim. Posted links are listed on the right sidebar of any claim page. Some of the links support this claim, some oppose it, others are neutral. Their totals are shown along the top of the sidebar, along with the average NewsTrust ratings for the links in each category.

    The more links you read, review or add, the more your rating will count. To review these links, click on their 'Review' buttons. Evaluate them carefully for accuracy, fairness and sourcing. For tips on reviewing stories on NewsTrust, check our Quick Review Guide.

    How do I rate a claim? Once you have checked the facts and reached a decision, click on the slider in our fact-checking form to rate this claim: is it true or false? or somewhere in between?
    (to open the fact-checking form, click on the 'Fact-check this' button below the photo in the claim page).

    Pick an answer from one of these five rating choices:

    False Mostly False Half True

    Mostly True True

    For more choices, click on 'Other options' where you can pick one of these answers:

    In Progress Not Sure Cannot Verify Fiction

    Select 'In progress' if you need more time, 'Not sure' if you can't make up your mind, 'Cannot verify' if you can't find reliable facts to verify this claim, and 'Fiction' if you think this claim is a total fabrication, with no factual evidence at all (please use that last option carefully -- based on facts, not opinions).

    If you select 'Fiction,' your rating will be equal to '0', while 'False' counts as '1', 'Mostly False' as '2', 'Half True' as '3', 'True' as '4' and 'True' as '5.' Other options are not counted as a rating, but are still displayed next to your answer.

    Once you have picked an answer, a text box will appear so you can add a note. Please take the time to explain which facts led you to that conclusion, focusing on verifiable evidence rather than hearsay. As a rule of thumb, focus on the facts, not opinions (if you would like to express your personal views, please add a separate comment at the bottom of the claim page). Please be civil (see our guidelines).

    When you're done, click the yellow "Save" button. This will post your answer on the claim page, along with other responses from our community.

    How can I change my answer? You can change your answer at any time, by clicking on the 'Edit your answer' button below the photo on any claim page. You will receive email notifications when new links are posted on a claim page where you added your answer. As new factual evidence comes in, we invite you to reconsider your answer -- and edit it if you come across new factual evidence. You are not being scored for right or wrong answers, and it's perfectly fine to change your mind based on new information (actually, we think that's a sign of maturity).

    How can I discuss this claim? To discuss this claim with other members, click on "Comments" below the fact-check form -- or simply scroll down to the "Comments" section at the bottom of the claim page. Type your comment in the "Add a Comment" box (you have up to 2,000 characters per comment) and click "Save" when you're done. Your comment will appear above that box. You can also add a reply to an existing comment by clicking "Reply." You are free to edit you comment or reply for 30 minutes after posting it, after which editing will be disabled. For more information on adding comments, check our Member FAQ.

    How do I add a link? To add a link to factual evidence about a claim, click on "Add a link" at the bottom of the question box -- or simply scroll down to the Add a Link box at the bottom of the right sidebar. Then paste the web address of the link you want to add into the URL field of that box. NewsTrust will try to guess the title and add it in the "Title" box; if nothing appears there, type in the title yourself. Finally, indicate whether this link supports, opposes, or provides neutral information about the claim. After you click "Post," your link will be added to the right sidebar and posted on NewsTrust, if it was not already in our database.

    Your link will also appear below your answer. After you post a link, make sure to review the story, so it receives a NewsTrust rating.

    How do I review linked stories? Click the yellow "Review" button under each linked story title. This will take you to the story page with the NewsTrust review form open. For information about how to review a story, see our Reviewer FAQ.

    How can I find out about Truthsquad results? At the end of each Truthsquad, the editors will post their findings, providing links to the factual evidence we found together. We will also post the results in the next NewsTrust newsletter and on the NewsTrust blog. If you participated in the Truthsquad, you may also receive an email when the finding is posted, as long as you have agreed to receive 'Special Notices' from NewsTrust (you can change your settings on this email page).


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    You didn't answer my question in this FAQ! What now? Please your additional questions, ideas and thoughts. We appreciate your interest in NewsTrust and your patience during this beta phase.

    If you already are a member or a host, and would like more information about using NewsTrust, check our other help FAQs:

  • General FAQ:
  • for general questions about NewsTrust and our website
  • Member FAQ:
  • for questions about viewing and editing our member profiles
  • Reviewer FAQ:
  • for questions about our story review and submission forms
  • Host FAQ:
  • for questions about our story and source edit forms

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