Code of Conduct for Members of Trusted Origins[1]

To maintain good standing, members pledge to abide by the following rules[2]:

Seek Truth and Report it

Verify the accuracy of your claims and your sources.

When reporting results of research, assure that the sponsors, researchers, and supporting personnel adhere to recognized standards for scientific investigation, do not filter or selectively manipulate data to support a favored outcome, and have no real or apparent conflicts of interest. 

Do not misrepresent or oversimplify facts.

Identify sources clearly so readers can judge their reliability and motivations.

Only cite an anonymous source if you can personally verify the source’s identity and credibility, and then only when the source faces probable harm or retribution if exposed.

Provide access to source material when relevant and appropriate.

Label advocacy, opinions, and commentary explicitly.

Do not distort facts or context, including visual information.

Never plagiarize, and always attribute material to its proper source.


Minimize Harm

Do not expose private personal information unless doing so serves a vital public interest.

Do not create, repeat or otherwise promote known falsehoods, unfounded theories, or hurtful memes that might injure or affect personal or social well-being unless that content is vital for your article and only if that content is clearly marked as false, unfounded, and/or distrusted and harmful. 

Consider the long-term implications of published articles and correct or update them as appropriate. 

Treat others with respect, and avoid derogatory and inflammatory statements.

Never demean or threaten anyone, and do not initiate or amplify messages that could reasonably be expected to put others at risk of harm.


Act Independently

Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived, and disclose any unavoidable conflicts.



  1. ^ Copyright Trusted Origins Corp., 2019
  2. ^  These rules mirror those of various professional organizations, e.g., the Society for Professional Journalists ( and the World Health Organization ( 

Updated on Aug. 21, 2020