Spotkanie Demagoga w Wieliczce, 2022
Let’s Introduce Ourselves
We are the Demagog Association, a collective of analysts and educators who believe in the importance of facts. Our mission is to combat false information and disinformation while providing citizens with reliable, unbiased, and verified information.
We aim to establish the best practices for delivering unbiased and reliable information as the standard in the field of politics, journalism and science. Our efforts are dedicated to educating citizens – we aspire to build a robust civil society that verifies information, consults primary and unprocessed sources, and, as a result, shapes opinions consciously.
In all our activities, we uphold the principles of transparency, impartiality, and credibility.
We are signatories to the 2022 European Code of Practice on Disinformation and the Polish Code of Good Practices in Combating Disinformation. We are members of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), European Fact-Checking Standards Network (EFCSN) and the fact-checking community of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO).
The Demagog Association is officially registered under the KRS number 0000615583.
- Since April 2014, our team has been verifying the statements and election promises of politicians, sharing our analyses on demagog.org.pl.
- On April 29, 2016, we founded the Demagog Association.
- In 2016, we established our educational initiative, the Fact-checking Academy,
- Since May 2019, we have been a member of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
- In September 2019, we joined Facebook’s Independent Verification Program.
- From 2020 to 2022, we were part of the global Coronavirus Facts Alliance project, where fact-checking organizations collaborated to combat false information about the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Since 2021, we’ve been part of the fact-checking community within the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO).
- In May 2022, along with ten Polish organizations and institutions, we endorsed the Code of Good Practices in the fight against disinformation.
- On June 16, 2022, we became signatories to the 2022 European Code of Practice on Disinformation.
- Since 2022, we are members of an international consortium creating the European Fact-Checking Standards Network (EFCSN).
We verify information:
- Demagog.org.pl portal
Demagog.org.pl is a fact-checking portal that monitors the web for false information and provides verified facts. Our analysts diligently check the statements of public figures, combat fake news by debunking disinformation and conspiracy theories, and verify election promises. We also compile reports and deliver verified information on socially significant topics.
- We collaborate with online platforms
To combat disinformation, we collaborate with major technology companies. Since 2019, we are a partnering Meta in the Third Party Fact-Checking Program. Since 2022, we have been working with Kinzen, and following its acquisition by Spotify, we continue to support the team. We analyze potentially harmful content and hate speech in Polish.
- We develop technological tools
In partnership with Defence24 Group and Crazy Nauka, we have introduced the first climate chatbot in Poland. This simple tool helps people grasp facts about climate change, debunks common fake news, and educates about the consequences of ongoing climate shifts. As part of the AI4Trust project, we are co-creating a tool designed to monitor and combat disinformation.
- Fact-checking Academy
The Fact-checking Academy stands as the flagship educational initiative of the Demagog Association. For the past five years, we have conducted both in-person and online workshops and training sessions, in which elucidate the methodologies for searching and verifying information, evaluating source credibility, and utilizing online tools effectively to fight against fake news. Collaborating with the participants, we cultivate competencies essential for the 21st century.
The coaching team of the Demagog Association comprises nearly 20 mentors, including experienced analysts from the demagog.org.pl portal. These mentors have been generously sharing their fact-checking skills and knowledge with students, teachers, educators, seniors, as well as representatives from the business and non-governmental sectors.
- Educational platform
Our educational platform is a dedicated e-learning space crafted by the Demagog Association team. Online courses, curated by experts, assist users in recognizing false information online, differentiating truth from falsehood, and accessing reliable sources of information.
We discuss disinformation:
- Demagog podcast
Our podcast series, released every Thursday, features Wioletta Myszkowska and Mateusz Cholewa. They come together behind the microphone to present the “Prasówkę z dezinformacji” (Press Briefing on Disinformation). In addition to discussions on fake news, conspiracy theories, or Russian propaganda, they also invite experts, journalists, and scientists to share their insights.
We carry out expert activities:
- Demagog Advocacy
We fulfill our mission through active engagement in advocacy on various fronts:
- Media Education
- Popularization of Science
- Combating Disinformation
- Public Life Transparency
- Media Freedom
- Civil Society Development
Our involvement in these domains encompasses participation in diverse consultative bodies and working groups, crafting expert analyses and recommendations, providing input on draft legislation during public consultations, and endorsing initiatives aligned with these objectives.
We are active on the international stage:
- International Projects and Collaborations:
To counter disinformation, we execute international projects and engage in partnerships with organizations worldwide. As one of the founding members of the European Fact-Checking Standards Network (EFCSN), we actively contribute to shaping fact-checking standards. Additionally, we co-create the fact-checking community within the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO). We are also signatories to the 2022 European Code of Practice on Disinformation and play an active role in the working group overseeing its implementation.
We call to action:
- Social Campaigns
The Demagog Association team spearheads social campaigns, urging the online community to verify information and scrutinize political figures. Noteworthy campaigns include “Nie bądź botem. Włącz myślenie!” (Don’t be a bot. Turn on your thinking!) and “Fakty w debacie publicznej” (Facts in the public debate).
We are present in the media and at key events:
- Media and Conferences
Our association’s experts and editorial board members serve as commentators for both national and international media outlets. We are prominently featured in podcasts and radio programs, including OneT, Interia, WP, Virtual Media, Press, TokFM, Polish Radio, RDC, RMF24, and others.
We actively participate in major events and conferences, such as the Economic Forum in Karpacz, Influencers Live Wroclaw, the Polish Institute of International Affairs Conference, Krynica Forum, EMIF’s annual event: Funding the Fight against Disinformation, Global Fact, Media Education Congress, Forum Against Disinformation, and the IGF Poland 2022 Digital Summit in Lublin.
Credibility and Impartiality
The guarantee of our professionalism lies in the values we adhere to, serving as the foundation for the Association’s operations. In our work, we are committed to upholding specific principles.
01 Declaration of Impartiality
Before becoming a part of our organization, everyone is obliged to complete the Declaration of Impartiality.
Impartiality and fairness, to us, mean scrutinizing all facts and statements uniformly and abstaining from taking political stances on the issues under review.
Our employees and collaborators keep in mind the paramount values guiding the organization’s activities and commit to:
- prepare analyses in line with the principles of political and worldview impartiality, avoiding the formulation of evaluative judgments or personal opinions.
- utilize credible sources based on research methods widely recognized in the scientific community.
- act with objectivity and neutrality in their work.
- describe reality reliably and accurately.
- correct their analyses in case of errors.
- refrain from speaking on behalf of the organization in a manner that might be perceived as biased.
- avoid accepting any material benefits or privileges exceeding commonly accepted norms of courtesy in a professional context.
- abstain from engaging in political campaigning for any politician, political party, or electoral committee.
02 Membership in the International Fact-Checking Network
Since May 2019, we have been members of the International Fact-checking Network (IFCN), a global organization uniting fact-checkers from around the world. IFCN actively promotes the development of fact-checking practices and fosters collaboration among fact-checkers. Additionally, it hosts the annual GlobalFact conference.
Every organization affiliated with IFCN is required to adhere to the credibility and transparency standards outlined in the IFCN Code. These standards include:
- Impartiality and Fairness: Ensuring consistent fact-checking methods and refraining from taking political positions on the issues being verified.
- Transparency of Sources: Providing access to the sources used in our fact-checks, allowing interested parties to independently verify them.
- Organizational and Financial Transparency: Maintaining open disclosure of our organizational structure and funding sources. Importantly, funding does not influence editorial decision-making.
- Transparency of Methodology: Clearly outlining our information verification principles, including criteria for topic selection, source selection, and evaluation categories.
- Policy of Open and Honest Revisions: Openly acknowledging and correcting any errors made in our analyses. We update our analyses transparently, allowing for a comparison between the initial erroneous version and the corrected one. All corrected analyses can be found here.
Should you believe that we have violated any of these principles in the course of our work, you can report it to IFCN here.
03 European Fact-Checking Standards Network
In collaboration with four other prominent fact-checking organizations from Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, we proudly form a consortium that establishes the European Fact-Checking Standards Network (EFCSN). As a significant milestone in this initiative, the European fact-checking community unanimously adopted the European Code of Fact-Checking Standards in the summer of 2022. Looking ahead, in 2023, the EFCSN will evolve into a prominent institution uniting credible fact-checking organizations from across Europe, all of which adhere to the standards set forth by this code.
We are delighted to share that our Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Pawel Terpilowski, PhD, holds a position in the Governance Body of this organization.
04 European Code of Practice on Disinformation
Starting from June 16, 2022, we stand as signatories to the European Code of Practice on Disinformation. This Code, crafted in alignment with the guidelines set by the European Commission, imposes specific obligations on the entities that have endorsed it. Among these entities are major online platforms, technology firms, fact-checking organizations, research and academic institutions, and various civil society organizations.
Comprising 44 commitments and 128 measures, the Code addresses various aspects, including demonetization and the reduction of financial incentives for creators of disinformation, transparency in political advertising, assurance of service integrity, empowerment of users, researchers, and the fact-checking community, as well as transparency in monitoring the execution of its provisions.
The implementation process of the code’s findings is overseen by a specially formed Permanent Task Force, with Paweł Terpiłowski, PhD as one of its members.
05 Code of Best Practices on Disinformation
In response to the escalating spread of false information and with a commitment to enhancing the quality of public discourse, we collaborated with ten other organizations and institutions to formulate the Code of Best Practices on Disinformation in May 2022. This code encompasses pivotal aspects of combatting disinformation and outlines recommended courses of action.
The signatories to the Code include the creators of the Crazy Nauka channel, CyberDefence24, FakeHunter, Zamenhof Institute, Foundation for Lifelong Development (Fundacja Rozwoju Przez Całe Życie), Foundation Science. I Like It (Fundacja Nauka. To Lubię), Spider’s Web+, Demagog Association, Prawda Association, Watchdog Poland Civic Network Association ( Stowarzyszenie Sieć Obywatelska Watchdog Polska), and NASK-PIB.
Demagog’s team is composed of its dedicated employees, collaborators, volunteers, and members of the Demagog Association.
Information regarding the financing, structure, and legal status of our Association is transparent. We openly share our financial statements, detailing all sources of funding, such as implemented grants, commercial collaborations, and partnerships with major online platforms.
Our funding also comes from readers who generously contribute donations. We maintain complete independence from any funding source in our work, with the sole substantive responsibility for the published analyses resting with the Demagog’s editorial team.
Our ongoing operational costs primarily include employee and contributor salaries, office space rent in Warsaw, general overhead costs such as legal services, computer equipment, internet, and accounting. You can thoroughly review our financial statements and detailed information about the assets of the Demagog Association on the Funding page.
Gender Equality Plan
Demagog Association has embraced a “Gender Equality Plan” – a strategic action plan for the years 2022-2027. The plan is built upon five objectives formulated through research into the needs of employees, collaborators, and volunteers, expert consultations, and a review of practices employed by other organizations and academic institutions.
Objective 1: Pay special attention to the potential and development opportunities of employees and strengthen positive attitudes toward diversity.
Objective 2: Ensure open and competitive recruitment for vacant positions and ensure equality in the recruitment process and selection of the best candidate.
Objective 3: Facilitate work-life balance.
Objective 4: Strengthen women in management and leadership positions.
Objective 5: Create opportunities for employees to retrain and expand their knowledge and strengthen awareness of gender equality and manifestations of discrimination or inequality.
If you have questions, want to provide feedback on our work, or submit information for verification, please reach out to us!
Email us: [email protected]
Learn more about our partners who collaborate with us on educational and anti-disinformation projects.