Inside a German Fact-Checking Organization


CORRECTIV, the first non-profit research center in the German-speaking world, tackles misinformation in the digital age.

By creating independent journalism with local partners, conducting investigative research, implementing media-literacy programs and performing fact checking, CORRECTIV uncovers truth.

CORRECTIV’s primary publication platform is their website. Additionally, they publish newsletters, podcasts and zines and have a robust social media presence. Most of their content is free.

Using open-source photo- and video-verification software like Google, Yandex and Tineye as well as geo-verification methods, CORRECTIV’s fact-checking team can determine the sources and validity of photos and videos posted on social media. Moreover, through close analysis of social media profiles, CORRECTIV can distinguish between bots, fake profiles and those of legitimate users.

Currently CORRECTIV is the only German organization verified by International Fact Checking Network. As such they were tapped by Facebook beginning in 2018 to conduct fact checking on content.

When photos and videos of Paris’s recent yellow-vest protests were posted on Facebook, CORRECTIV’s team analyzed the content to determine that some of this content did not show Paris at all, and other content was from years earlier. As a Facebook-verified Fact-checker, CORRECTIV’s article refuting the content was attached below the original post with the tag “Fact Checker.” When anyone attempted to share this falsified content, the person was required to click “continue” on a pop-up explaining the content was doubtful.