Weekly Top Fake methodology

Media selection

Media resources to search for false information are to be chosen based on two criteria:

  • their content is consumed by Belarusian audiences;

  • they post content that is controversial from the viewpoint of professional ethics and journalistic standards.

According to the first criterion, we monitor media that have a significant readership coverage in Belarus. Following the second criterion, we check for messages that have one of the following characteristics:

  • author unspecified;

  • contained statements are either not verified by other sources or refuted by other sources.

We also monitor social media accounts if they have been seen spreading fake news or any misinformation.

Analysis sources

Information disseminated in the media and social networks is to be referenced against sources that are beyond doubt. Source links are to be provided for all evidence (of misinformation).

The sources of information to be used:

  • official data and statistics;

  • responses to public queries by government institutions;

  • information from the media;

  • statements by government officials;

  • research papers;

  • expert opinions;

  • government regulations and official documents;

  • own investigations;

  • other sources.

Elements of fact-checking

Fact-checking is an independent verification of media content. The analysis includes: clearly formulated statements from media reports, evidence refuting those statements, links to information sources.


Weekly Top Fake videos including five fake news stories of the week presented as a top chart countdown from 5th to 1st place. The place in the chart is determined by the importance, relevance and occurrence of the particular news story.

Interactive database

The database includes all fake news stories covered in episodes of the "Lukavye Novosti" series published from September 2021 to October 2022 as well as all episodes of Weekly Top Fake since November 2022.

Interactive database search how-to instructions

To use our database search click the "Fake Trends. Interactive database" link on the "Antifake/Factcheck" page.

The interactive database search looks up fake news stories covered in episodes of the "Lukavye Novosti" series published from September 2021 to October 2022 as well as all episodes of Weekly Top Fake since November 2022.

To use the database search please use at least two search filters. One of the filters is pre-set: filtering by date of publication. Default period is last year. Maximum available search period is three years.

Other search filters available:

  • Type. All fakes are assigned one of three tags depending on their type: misrepresentation, concealment and fabrication;

  • Topics. This section is constantly updated with new topics;

  • Area. The country that the fake news story supposedly takes place in;

  • Source. The media that mentioned the fake news story, not necessarily the primary source;

  • Persons. Usually contains the author, although sometimes persons mentioned in the particular fake news story also end up in that field.

To use the database search function, please apply one of the filters detailed above. One option can be chosen in each category.

Up to six search parameters can be applied for one query. E.g. we can search fakes published within the last year, with the following search parameters: type "misrepresentation", topics "war", area "Ukraine", source "Pul Pervogo", persons "Aliaksandr Lukashenka".

The table below displays the publishing date and the number of fake stories found in the given time period. Hover over the columns to see clickable links to the particular fake news stories. The other option is to click the "Show Results" button below the table, and then click on the desired fake news story headline to open it.

To reiterate, the search queries need not be complex. As mentioned above, only two search criteria are sufficient for a database search, one of which is pre-set by default (fake news exposure date).