Working mechanism and verification methodology
Tech4Peace is an independent, non-profit organization that works 24/7 to show the facts that are supported by evidence and sources and make it accessible to the public, to give the audience of Tech4Peace direct access to information from its sources,
a large number of Tech4Peace volunteers, which consists of 265 members, and their geographical distribution inside and outside Iraq has directly contributed to carrying out many tasks, including:
Tech4Peace team works according to fixed standards based on accuracy, transparency, credibility, independence, and neutrality. The team was chosen carefully through multiple processes to ensure the independence of the person and impartiality in the future to any party.
Tech4Peace does not receive investigations from third parties, which means that all investigations and published articles are the team’s work, and their divisions are explained below. So, Tech4Peace holds the responsibility for all articles and investigations published on all its platforms. Tech4Peace never uses terms such as (informed source, a source requested not revealing himself, said observers, insiders, etc.) as they are terminology used usually in the media in a case that they cannot obtain an accurate source.
Therefore, Tech4Peace, from the first day of its establishment, provides accurate sources for all investigations been published to the public.
The language used in Tech4Peace’s investigations is Classical Arabic because the audience of Tech4Peace is not limited to Iraq, but the Tech4Peace investigations are followed up from Arab countries as well, in addition to translating the investigations published on the website into English as well. As the Tech4Peace website contains an Arabic version and an English version.
Note:- The theme of the investigations used by the Tech4Peace team contains the name of the classification at the beginning, and then we put the false claim between the quotation marks “ ” and without changing any word or letter inside the quotation marks, even if the content of the claim contains grammatical errors or whatever dialect used in the allegation, in this case, we are showing the audience what is the original content of the claim was circulated, and therefore we put the claim inside quotation marks, and then when clarifying the truth of the news, we go back to writing in Classical Arabic language.
The mechanism of Tech4Peace work, which the number of its members mentioned above, is done by distributing the entire team into specialized teams within sub-divisions of the main committees described in the Organization Structure section, which gives the team the performance of organizational work with a high level of professionalism.
The names of the teams working on the investigation stages of the suspicious news in this section without referring to the names of the main committees to explain simple and clear work mechanism, as the names of the main committees, including the branching divisions, are mentioned in the structural section on the Tech4Peace website.
The division of tasks and work of the teams responsible for receiving allegations from the beginning of work until publication on the Tech4Peace website and other social media platforms are detailed in the chart at the end of this section.
As the tasks of the sub-teams are as follows:-
Follow-up and Research Team: The Tech4Peace Follow-up and Research team receives inquiries from followers through messages, mentions on our platforms, and emails. On average, we receive about 200 inquiries per day through our platforms. Of those 200 inquiries, many are about the same news. Part of the team looks at all inquiries and answers messages. Another part of the social media team is keeping an eye on them to ensure no query is forgotten. In this way, we ensure that all inquiries and allegations from different types of topics or various sources will be verified.
The team forwards these inquiries to a secret Facebook group, where other volunteers await investigations. At the same time, the Follow-up and Research team is actively searching all Iraqi pages with less or more than a million followers to find verifiable news as well. The search results are also sent to the volunteer's group through which they are verified.
In addition, through the partnership with Facebook, our team was provided with a CrowdTangle tool to search for news for popular content in Iraq on a daily basis on the Facebook and Instagram platforms. In addition to the daily search for hashtags for trending content on Twitter, especially by Iraqi accounts.
In addition to the daily Iraqi trending hashtags on Twitter.
The priority: Among all the news and claims received by the Tech for Peace team on all accounts on social media platforms, in addition to the news that the follow-up team searches for, whether in the normal way or through the tools and methods described above, the news and allegations that are extensively circulated (the trend) and It is what preoccupies public opinion, and it is possible that topics that occupy public opinion may be permeated with false allegations, or those misleading news that target individuals or groups with hate speech and incite violence against them, or misleading allegations that threaten the social cohesion or stability and public security, these topics are of paramount importance and priority for the Tech for Peace team to search, investigate and publish on the right news based on the available reliable sources.
Simply, some topics, such as the transfer of a football player to another club, or whether the player or the artist has a tattoo or not, these topics can wait a little if they spread at the same time with the news of the utmost importance as explained above.
Verification Team: This team shares the largest group of volunteers, and the team checks the news to find out whether it is true or not. The team was trained very well on using the Bellingcat tools, which are open-source tools through which sources are known through the Internet. The most prominent of these tools are:
Google image, TinEye, Yandex, Bing, inVID.
And many other tools,
Sometimes the verification team uses its personal relationships to reach the correct information through direct communication by phone or through social media platforms or sending an e-mail to know the background and details of the event with evidence.
An important note: In the investigation team each person works according to their specialization and background to obtain accurate information and to get faster access to information.
Translation team: The translation team that falls within the investigation work mechanism. The team participates in two different stages; the first is responsible for translating news that is undergoing verification of allegations so that the verification team can conduct the investigation, and the team contains experts in nine different languages: Arabic, Kurdish, Turkmen, Turkmen, Turkish, Farsi, English, French, Italian and Dutch.
As for the second stage, the team participates in translating the verified investigations published in Arabic into English to provide an English version of all reports published on the Tech4Peace website.
Social media team: The social media team participates in the verification phase of the claims but extensively and accurately to support the previous teams. After the verification by the previous team is completed, the role of the social media team comes to the secondary review of the information obtained by the previous teams.
The writing of the report is initiated to form appropriate, smooth, and easy-to-understand content. The social media team is very well trained in writing neutral and unbiased texts that aim to deliver accurate news without causing harm to any particular party.
Information Technology and Design Team: After completing the verification process, all necessary materials are sent to the Information Technology and Design team. The team uses the approved and fixed templates of Tech4Peace to design and hand them over to the publishing team.
The Information Technology and Design Team chooses the post and article photo (screenshot of the claim) based on the most popular and interactive or the pages that have a large number of followers for the purpose of placing it within the approved design when publishing the investigation. The reason is to spread public awareness about the large pages that published the claim or to show the public interaction with the claim.
Publishing team: The publishing team is considered the editors and the final auditor before presenting the results of the investigations to the public. The publishing team thoroughly verifies all the material that has been worked on from the beginning, passing through the origin of the claim and the tools used for verification, drafting the report, checking the language used, designing the appropriate template, and choosing the classification according to the content from the approved classifications of Tech4Peace, and then published on the site and other social media platforms.
This chart shows the mechanism of work of the teams responsible for verifying allegations from the first step and through all stages in detail until the publication of the investigations to the public on the website and all social media platforms.
The content is classified by the editor-in-chief, which is based on the criteria of Tech4Peace described below:
1- Clarification: It is used to clarify a publication that it is true, but some of its details were conveyed inaccurately or were written in an ambiguous manner that requires clarification.
2- Attention: It is used when the publication contains partially incorrect news, Also it is used to warn about fake links or malicious software.
3- Fake news: used when the post contains news (text only) that is not true.
4- Fake post: used when the post includes fake news with a photo or a video clip that is completely different from what was published.
5- Photoshop: used when a photo is circulated, and the Tech4Peace team finds its truth and the original copy, where the two photos would be placed together and mentioning which of the two photos is fake and which one is the real.
6- Misleading title: It is used when an agency, a news website, or any media organization publishes a piece of news that is correct, but the title is misleading and does not reflect the truth about the details of the news.
7- Fake account: It is used when there are accounts or pages on social media platforms that impersonate a name, a personal photo, or an institution, or any part.
8- Fake tweet: It is used when there is a tweet that was created or faked and circulated as being issued by a person, institution, or any part.
9- Fake document: used when a circulating document in which the content has been modified, and it has been denied by the concerned authority or the Tech4Peace team exposes the falsity of the document by referring to such spelling errors or the drafting style is different, depending on the administrative steps of writing official documents in case of not being able to obtain the original copy.
10- True news: We use it to publish true news due to receiving many questions and inquiries about it, and it is also used to publish some important news and decisions issued by some official institutions.
11- Alert: It is used when the post includes an insecure link containing malicious software and Alerts against fake messages and phishing, and fraud in all its forms.
Moreover, our work is not limited to detecting only fake news but also raising awareness about fake news, digital security, and important topics, for example, the Coronavirus pandemic, the Iraqi elections, and women's participation in society.