- In my presentation I will discuss how better verify content taken from social media during crisis events.In the first part I will show you some of the results of a research project I’ve conducted at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford.
- In the second part I will show you some useful tools available online to authenticate pictures, videos and tweets.
I will start with a quote by a fact-checker at the German magazine Der Spiegel, famous for running the “biggest fact-checking operation in the world”, with a staff of more than 70 people (working just on the print version of the magazine). Below you can find some slides illustrating their work.
According to Maximilian Schäfer, a fact checker at DER SPIEGEL:
"fact-checking is not about the verification of facts, but about the reliability of sources"
If print culture has developed its own techniques to ensure reliability of sources, digital journalism is just moving its first steps.
- 1440-MINUTES NEWS CYCLENytimes' Jim Roberts: we live in a "1440/7 news cycle"
- And so thinks Dan Gillmor
- Checking sources in the new information scenario is probably more complicated than in the past:1) scarcity of time and attention2) abundance of sources available on social media3) The “Nobody knows you are a dog” law, well described by a 1993 New Yorker’s cartoon
- TWEET FIRST, VERIFY LATERBelow you can find a summary of the research project I've realized at the RISJ
- TOOLS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA VERIFICATIONThanks to a combination of new tools available online and old-fashioned verification techniques you can better verify the reliability of sources on social media.
At Effecinque, the italian startup I've co-founded with other young reporters, we often use social media as an initial source for our reporting.
- PICTURES AND VIDEOS
During crisis events, news organizations are more and more looking for witnesses and pictures from the ground. And very often readers can be of big help. But news media outlets have to be very careful.
During the 2009 earthquake that struck the Italian city of L’Aquila, Corriere Della Sera.it (the most respected Italian newspaper) published in its home-page a very impressive picture submitted by a reader.
- But it was just an hoax
- It was a picture uploaded one year before on Flickr during the Sichuan earthquake
- Thanks to TinEye, a reverse image search engine, you can now easily discover if a picture submitted by a reader or circulating on social media has previously been published online.