9 December 16

Krypometer, Kosovo’s first fact checker

Kallxo.com launches a new tool to rate the truthfulness of public statements made by high public officials. We called it Krypometer. Here’s why.

Either deliberately or due to ignorance, for the past 17 years multiple presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and politicians have issued false statements in order to achieve their goals or propagate uncertainty. These statements have been discussed and debated in various circles, but less so in the media. 

Until now, this social debate has proceeded without a real measuring tool to clarify the truth for citizens. 

In the past 17 years, there has been no systematic verification of the truthfulness of statements made by individuals who held public office. 

Due to the uncertainty, obscurity, and lack of accountability for public statements, KALLXO.com and Life in Kosovo are launching the first tool that will rate truthfulness--in other words, a fact checker. 

We decided to call our truth-o-meter KRYPOMETËR, which would translate from Albanian as Salt-o-meter. 

“Na krypi tu na rrejt (He salted us!)” is an Albanian idiom used to refer to liars. More specifically, it alludes to a situation in which the level of salt in a dish becomes the measurement of how tolerable the dish is. Various international media have called such tools differently. We have chosen to measure the level of falseness, or truthfulness in statements made by public officials with saltshakers. We will use salt as a popular synonym to the lie. 

The purpose of the Krypometer is to reflect on the truthfulness of a public statements, to scan and inspect the statement of a political figure regarding issues of great local, central, or international importance. 

We will select written and broadcasted speeches, news articles, interviews, press statements, campaign brochures, advertisements, and Facebook posts. Since we cannot select every assertion, we will focus on the ones that are current and important. We will not work only during election campaigns, but at all times. As we have witnessed in the past, it is quite normal for many untruths, especially about the future, to be told during election campaigns. 

Nevertheless, the choice of statements will not be only ours. Citizens including experts, intellectuals, and scientists who are listening to statements, can suggest specific statements to be considered for the Krypometer. 

We aim to create an active citizenry and intellectual class by providing citizens with a platform where they can contradict public statements with facts. 

The statements will be measured by criteria that will be public, and for which we are happy to receive comments, critiques, and suggestions. There are five levels in the truth-o-meter, all denoted by salt. 

A single saltshaker shall be used to denote a statement which is true. All other categories list untruths. So we have four categories for lies, in order to classify half-truths from outright lies. Two saltshakers denote a statement which is selectively true. In other words, a statement that has a few flaws, exaggerations, or bends the truth a bit, but makes no outright lie. 

We also have foreseen a category which in Albanian we called “me kos” (with sour milk) to denote those statements that have serious lapses and/or exaggerations. This category includes statements that might have factual inaccuracies, but not at all costs. A politician can create a false impression by playing with words or using a discourse that means nothing to common people. This will be classified as “half true.”

When a statement is not true, then we will use four salt shakers. A statement is categorized as such because it is an untruth and has factual inaccuracies. Such statements can include data that are technically correct (like: statistical data), but that are used out of context and end up being misleading. 

The fifth category, which we have called ‘pants on fire’ in English, refers to outright lies. This category includes statements that are complete lies - not only are they not true, but they are also ridiculous/unheard of and absurd in their implications. We will use “investigations continue” in cases when we cannot check the statement quickly or when we are dealing with complex cases in which there are good points for both sides of the argument. We will stop our assessment to gather more facts. We will use this forum to illuminate controversial statements that are not easily solved. 

All assessments are open for discussion and criticism from our readership and all stakeholders. At the same time, all assessments can be updated once new facts come to light.

To a large extent, the success of this project also depends on you – our readers and viewers. We shall rely on the public to suggest statements made by politicians, interest groups, and the media so that we can inspect them and see whether they are based on facts. We welcome any comments and suggestions, which can be submitted by using the @krypometer on Facebook and Twitter. The final goal of this project is not to tell someone that they are lying, but to lower the level of deception and manipulation from people who hold power.


KALLXO.com and Jeta ne Kosove are part of the International Fact-Checking Network, IFCN, by the Poynter Institute. In addition to being part of an international network of fact-checkers, we also subscribe to the Ethical Principles that need to be applied when facts are checked. An impartial and transparent verification of facts can become a powerful instrument for accountable journalism.

Fill out my online form.

Latest News and Events


Al Jazeera Balkans Shows BIRN Film Seven Times

Al Jazeera Balkans broadcast BIRN’s documentary ‘The Unidentified’, about the Serbian fighters responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the Kosovo war, seven times in December 2016.


Internet Offers Income Perspectives, BIRN Serbia Debate Hears

People in Serbia are willing to pay for good content on the Internet but there are major issues with clickbait articles, badly-produced news and commercially-led content, a BIRN Serbia debate heard.


BIRN, CIN Begin Montenegro Investigative Journalism Project

Strengthening investigative reporting and the capacities of investigative journalists in Montenegro, as well as the quality of media content related to EU negotiation chapters, are the focus of the new EU-supported project.


BIRN BiH Participates in Information Law Consultations

Representatives of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in a public debate on a draft revision of the Law on Free Access to Information, held in Sarajevo on February 23. 


Balkan Insight Cited in Council of Europe Commission Report

The latest European Commission against Racism and Intolerance country report on Bosnia and Herzegovina quotes articles from BIRN’s flagship publication Balkan Insight.


Smear Campaign Targets BIRN Journalists in Macedonia

BIRN journalists in Macedonia are being subjected to an incendiary campaign on social networks by supporters of the rightist VMRO DPMNE party.


BIRN Macedonia’s Vlado Apostolov Awarded for Investigative Reporting

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia gave its annual investigative reporting award for 2016 to BIRN journalist Vlado Apostolov on February 22 for his series of articles on properties connected to a Macedonian official, Vladimir Zdravev.


BIRN Albania Seeks Investigations on Financial Industry

Grants offered for three journalists to uncover corruption and abuse of power stories in the financial industry as well as mentoring by experienced editors.


BIRN Staff Trained in Project Cycle Management

Twenty BIRN Programme and Project Managers have been trained to build their capacities in the field of project cycle management.


BIRN Macedonia Launches Foreign Investments Database

BIRN Macedonia has launched a new database called ‘Foreign Investments Uncovered’ which indicates that the amount of these investments is seven times lower than announced by government.

In This Article