We put together our scale and fact-checking methodology after research and contact with other fact- checking groups, and with reference to the International Fact Checkers code of principles.
Our scale goes has six points, from True to FFS! which are explained in our Ferret Fact Service methodology page, which will be linked to each Fact Check.
Your point about how to evaluate claims which are lacking in context or omit certain facts is an important one which we thought a lot about when developing the project.
We rate our fact checks on a six-point scale:
True – The claim is accurate, and has not left out mitigating factors or important context
Mostly True – The claim is still true, but requires further information or clarification to create a full picture
Half True – The claim is somewhat or partially accurate, but leaves out crucial information or is selectively taken out of context
Mostly False – The claim may contain a kernel of truth but leaves out facts which lead one to a different impression.
False – The claim is incorrect, not accurate.
FFS! (For Facts’ Sake) – The claim is baseless, ridiculous and/or logically impossible!
This scale allows to take into account that many claims may not be entirely true or false, but can still be misleading.
Selective use of statistics is a very important area to fact check, and will definitely feature in future checks as the FFS develops.
Alastair from Ferret Fact Service