Aos Fatos em tempo real
Organisation: Aos Fatos (Brazil)
Publication Date: 03/23/2017
Size of team/newsroom:small
Description'Aos Fatos em tempo real' is not only an aggregator of live fact-checking political debates; it is the most complete database of political statements developed until this date by a Brazilian newsroom. During the 2016's Brazilian mayoral elections, Aos Fatos's team live-fact-checked around 160 statements made by more than 10 mayor candidates in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in 16 TV debates for approximately two months and a half. Those claims were aggregated in only one hotsite -- 'Aos Fatos em tempo real' -- in a way that our readers could not only search for what their candidates said but also could scrutinize our independent and nonpartisan work. While live-fact-checking became a new paradigm in Brazilian newsrooms due to our real time efforts, we also were able to, at the end of the campaign, use our database of statements in order to verify that 3/4 of fact-checked statements made by all politicians during those two months and a half were somehow untrue (https://aosfatos.org/noticias/aos-fatos-encontrou-erro-em-3-4-das-declaracoes-checadas-durante-a-campanha/). During the whole coverage, our team sought to analyze equally all candidates according to our consolidated fact-checking method, recognized by the International Fact-Checking Network: relevance, exposure time and the emphasis of the argument. More than 70% of those fact-checks were all based on official and public databases -- either FOIA requests, government audits, scientific research. It means that it is not only a data journalism hotsite and a public speech database, but a broad investigation on political speech based on relevant Brazilian databases.
What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?'Aos Fatos em tempo real' initiative set a trend in Brazil of live-fact-checking on social media. During two months and a half and 16 TV debates, Aos Fatos's team fact-checked in real time more than 10 mayor candidates in Rio and São Paulo in partnership with UOL -- the biggest news website in Brazil. The coverage was also primarily distributed on Twitter. Our official account, for instance, had 30,000 followers in August 2016. In October, at the end of the mayoral elections, we reached 100,000. Due to our success live fact-checking the first debates, other news outlets started doing the same during the campaign, but none of them developed a beautiful and groundbreaking website intended only to aggregate content and transform a great amount of statements into a database. Our work had also political impact: some candidates actually asked to be fact-checked -- and disclosed favourable reports on them, like Alessandro Molon, a contender from Rede in Rio de Janeiro city campaign. Others, like Marcelo Freixo, from PSOL, in Rio, also gave more context to his statements due to our severe analysis. In São Paulo, Celso Russomanno, a PRB candidate, went to court agains Aos Fatos in order to force us to delete our report on him (https://aosfatos.org/noticias/veja-o-que-checamos-durante-o-debate-da-band-com-os-candidatos-prefeito-de-sp/#russomanno-construcao-civil-exagerado). He lost. All of those fact-checks were all based on official and public databases, unexplored by most of Brazilian news outlets because they're commonly raw sets.
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