Confidence Levels

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GlobalSecurity.org Definitions on Confidence Levels

High Confidence  
  • A green bullet by a given piece of information means we have a high degree of confidence that it is accurate.
  • This may mean it comes from on-the-record, apolitical sources within the U.S. or other generally open governments, or has been reported by several top-tier media outlets, such as The New York Times, Washington Post or The Associated Press.
  • Consider it very likely true.

Some Confidence  
  • A yellow bullet indicates we have some, but not total, confidence in the associated information.
  • It may come from a single, reliable media outlet quoting anonymous sources, or from foreign press reports.
  • The information itself may be presented as uncertain, as when a military spokesman says an event is believed to have occurred.
  • Consider it possibly true.

Low Confidence  
  • A red bullet indicates we have a low degree of confidence in the associated information.
  • It may have come from ideological U.S. government or press sources that have demonstrated a willingness to use questionable or unconfirmed intelligence to support their point of view, from shaky or authoritarian foreign governments who have a spotty track record in getting their facts straight, or from terrorists themselves.
  • It may also have been presented as dubious or unconfirmed by generally reliable sources, or it may just mark our informed speculation.
  • Consider it with a large grain of salt.

No Confidence  
  • A black bullet indicates we are confident this information is false.
  • It is for information that may have once been considered true, but has since been invalidated.