Aos Fatos checa Cidade dos Sonhos
Organisation: Aos Fatos (Brazil)
Publication Date: 03/24/2017
Size of team/newsroom:small
Description'Aos Fatos checa Cidade dos Sonhos' is a fact-checking project led by Aos Fatos during the 2016's mayoral elections in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. During 11 weeks, Aos Fatos's team monitored all the public statements and promises made by 16 different candidates in those two cities on 20 different subjects. These subjects were mostly related to sustainability and environmental issues, such as mobility policies, waste management and green areas. Basically, relevant local themes that impact deeply any city's life. By monitoring everything the contenders said during those weeks, Aos Fatos's team was able to perceive whether they were changing their minds on those subjects or kept their word. We could also know if they actually omitted on certain subjects or even weren't sure about what they were saying. At the end of the campaign, we were able to see, for instance, that João Doria, the elected mayor of São Paulo, changed his mind at least four times during those weeks. In order to classify their promises, we organised them in four categories: 'changed', 'didn't change', 'comes and goes' and 'didn't comment'. If you click on any of these buttons, you can see all the things the candidates said during the monitoring process and annotations on the consistency and accuracy of those statements. Those annotations, by the way, were also data driven content, since they were subsidized by public databases and official data collected and organized by our team. 'Aos Fatos checa Cidade dos Sonhos' was made due to a partnership with Cidade dos Sonhos -- a collective of organizations advocating on sustainability issues. This group hired Aos Fatos's team to monitor candidates in Rio and São Paulo on topics that were interesting to them. This special site is the result of this data collection work. 'Aos Fatos checa Cidade dos Sonhos' has also become a database of public statements and can be accessible by anyone who wants to monitor promises made in election times.
What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?Aos Fatos, as well as other Brazilian fact-checking initiatives, works with traditional labels such as 'false', 'true', 'innacurate'. By developing the special website, our team was able to explore other kinds of public speech verifications, never organized in such a way. It makes sense during election times to disclose to our readers any kind of inconsistency regarding their candidates' speech. It's even better if it is in an organized, accurate and beautiful way. It also gave purpose to a thorough data collection investigation that would otherwise result only in internal reports that were actually sold to Cidade dos Sonhos as Aos Fatos Lab's consultancy work.
Technologies used for this project:Aos Fatos's website backend is developed on Django, a opensource framework for Python. All the content is recovered and organized using JQuery along with styles made in SASS and compiled in CSS. The data was organized and refined, when necessary, with Google Spreadsheets.
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