Content ratings fact-checkers use

UPDATED

JUL 29, 2021

Fact-checkers use content ratings to help people better judge a piece of content and decide whether to read, trust or share it. Here are some of the ratings fact-checkers use in their work.

False

A False rating is for content that has no basis in fact. This includes:

  • Fake quotes.

  • Impossible claims, or ones that can’t be considered an interpretation of something that actually happened or was said. This could be claiming a natural disaster took place when no such event happened.

  • Fabricated content from websites misrepresenting themselves as real news outlets.

  • Image, audio or video content that’s authentic but offered as proof of an unrelated event.

Content rated False appears lower in News Feed on Facebook. On Instagram, it gets filtered out of Explore and is featured less prominently in feed and stories. This significantly reduces the number of people who see it.

Partly False

A Partly False rating is for content that has some factual inaccuracies. This includes:

  • Inaccuracies or miscalculations regarding numbers, dates and times, but that could be considered an interpretation of something that actually happened or was said. This could be miscalculating the cost of a government program.

  • A mix of true and false information.

  • Content presented as an opinion but based on underlying false information.

Content rated Partly False appears lower in News Feed on Facebook. On Instagram, it gets filtered out of Explore and is featured less prominently in feed and stories. This significantly reduces the number of people who see it.

Altered

An Altered rating is for images, audio and videos that’ve been manipulated in ways that could mislead people. This includes:

  • An edited video showing a person shaking someone’s hand when they didn’t.

  • An image where someone used Photoshop to depict a person at a location they weren’t actually at.

  • A media outlet editing to omit or reorder the words someone said to reverse the meaning of the statement. This could be removing the word “not” from someone saying “I will not do [x].”

Content rated Altered appears lower in News Feed on Facebook. On Instagram, it gets filtered out of Explore and is featured less prominently in feed and stories. This significantly reduces the number of people who see it.

Missing context

A Missing Context rating is for content that might mislead people without additional context. This includes:

  • Clips from authentic video or audio, or cropping of authentic photos, that lack the full context from the original content, but that haven’t otherwise been edited or manipulated. This could be cropping a video clip of someone saying “I support that candidate if...” to only include “I support that candidate.”

  • Media content edited to omit or reorder the words someone said that changes, but does not reverse, the meaning of the statement.

  • Hyperbole or exaggeration that is technically false but based on a real event or statement.

  • Content that presents a conclusion not supported by the underlying facts.

  • Unproven claims stated as fact.

Satire

A Satire rating is for content that uses irony, exaggeration or absurdity to criticize or raise awareness—particularly in the context of political, religious or social issues—but that a reasonable person wouldn’t immediately understand to be satirical. This includes:

  • Content from sites not clearly labeled as or widely-known as satire.

  • Content presented without clear labeling.

When a fact-checker rates a post as Satire, a fact-check article will be appended to the bottom of the post, but it won’t be labeled Satire.

False
Partly False
Altered
Missing context
Satire

A False rating is for content that has no basis in fact. This includes:

  • Fake quotes.

  • Impossible claims, or ones that can’t be considered an interpretation of something that actually happened or was said. This could be claiming a natural disaster took place when no such event happened.

  • Fabricated content from websites misrepresenting themselves as real news outlets.

  • Image, audio or video content that’s authentic but offered as proof of an unrelated event.

Content rated False appears lower in News Feed on Facebook. On Instagram, it gets filtered out of Explore and is featured less prominently in feed and stories. This significantly reduces the number of people who see it.

A Partly False rating is for content that has some factual inaccuracies. This includes:

  • Inaccuracies or miscalculations regarding numbers, dates and times, but that could be considered an interpretation of something that actually happened or was said. This could be miscalculating the cost of a government program.

  • A mix of true and false information.

  • Content presented as an opinion but based on underlying false information.

Content rated Partly False appears lower in News Feed on Facebook. On Instagram, it gets filtered out of Explore and is featured less prominently in feed and stories. This significantly reduces the number of people who see it.

An Altered rating is for images, audio and videos that’ve been manipulated in ways that could mislead people. This includes:

  • An edited video showing a person shaking someone’s hand when they didn’t.

  • An image where someone used Photoshop to depict a person at a location they weren’t actually at.

  • A media outlet editing to omit or reorder the words someone said to reverse the meaning of the statement. This could be removing the word “not” from someone saying “I will not do [x].”

Content rated Altered appears lower in News Feed on Facebook. On Instagram, it gets filtered out of Explore and is featured less prominently in feed and stories. This significantly reduces the number of people who see it.

A Missing Context rating is for content that might mislead people without additional context. This includes:

  • Clips from authentic video or audio, or cropping of authentic photos, that lack the full context from the original content, but that haven’t otherwise been edited or manipulated. This could be cropping a video clip of someone saying “I support that candidate if...” to only include “I support that candidate.”

  • Media content edited to omit or reorder the words someone said that changes, but does not reverse, the meaning of the statement.

  • Hyperbole or exaggeration that is technically false but based on a real event or statement.

  • Content that presents a conclusion not supported by the underlying facts.

  • Unproven claims stated as fact.

A Satire rating is for content that uses irony, exaggeration or absurdity to criticize or raise awareness—particularly in the context of political, religious or social issues—but that a reasonable person wouldn’t immediately understand to be satirical. This includes:

  • Content from sites not clearly labeled as or widely-known as satire.

  • Content presented without clear labeling.

When a fact-checker rates a post as Satire, a fact-check article will be appended to the bottom of the post, but it won’t be labeled Satire.