Fact-checking at AFP

Fact-checking has been a core element of AFP’s work as a global news agency for more than 180 years.

The company itself has a unique status under a French law. AFP resources are both commercial (around two thirds) and from a French government subsidy to support impartial, public interest journalism in France and abroad. 

We set up a blog to focus on fact-checking in response to the multiplication of misinformation and disinformation online, inspired by our experience with the award-winning CrossCheck collaborative project around the 2017 French elections.

We seek to help the public and newsrooms come to informed conclusions about information they find online, whether from social media posts, news articles, videos or statements.

Our work is carried out by fact-checking editors and a worldwide network of journalists, following the editorial standards and key guiding principles of the AFP global news agency. 

We seek throughout to share tips and tools to help others carry out fact-checking and verification.

We select content to investigate based on criteria including editorial interest, how widely something has been shared and whether it has entered public debate.

Our work follows the mission of the AFP charter to provide accurate, balanced and impartial coverage of news "with an independent voice free of political, commercial or ideological influence."

AFP is part of Facebook's third-party fact-checking programme. We consider stories flagged on Facebook as part of the material we investigate. Content rated "false" by fact-checkers is downgraded in news feeds so fewer people will see it. The content is however not deleted as a result of the rating. AFP's fact-checking operations receive direct support through Facebook's programme.

AFP is a signatory of the IFCN code of principles. These include a commitment to: nonpartisanship and fairness, transparency of sources, transparency of funding and organisation, transparency of methodology and an open and honest corrections policy.