Storyful – a news agency that helps mainstream news organizations find quality social content – hosted an important Google Hangout today about photo verification. This is an issue I’ve highlighted before, particularly following Hurricane Sandy when a flurry of fake tweets and pictures were circulating around the web.
Still, I think it’s an important topic to revisit. So much of what we use online, and in print, comes from the social web these days. The onus is still on us journalists to verify all the information we’re curating from the public.
Here’s the chat, which focused on Hurricane Sandy and the social media fallout:
Liz Heron, direct of social media and engagement for the Wall Street Journal, revisited some of her photo verification tips, including:
- First, click through to see if you can find the original source of the photo. Ask the person who shared the photo where they found it.
- Do a reverse image search on Tineye to see if the photo has been used online in the past.
- Or, download Google’s reverse image search plugin to see if that photo was posted online in another context.
Source: Liz Heron’s blog
Craig Silverman of Regret the Error suggested all journalists need to hone their photo verification skills. His main message: Learn how to use the tools, many of which are easy to use, that are out there and employ them before sharing content.
The rest of chat was more of a debate about if readers care about debunking fake info? Yes, of course; Turning to the community and other media on social networks to work together – particularly during times of crisis – to suss out false information.
In other news:
Google+ has added a new communities feature: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities. This could be resource to find story sources and perhaps spearhead your own community groups. Ideas: Elections, key topics (i.e. new arena, community issue). Kinda like Facebook groups but more visual. Thanks to Dave Johnson of the Welland Tribune for passing this on to me. 2013 prediction: Google+ may finally worm its way into mainstream use. It’s a good tool. Really.
Facebook vs. Twitter photo wars are heating up. If you’re an Instagram user, you may have noticed that your pics aren’t showing up anymore in Twitter. Facebook owns Instagram. Only a link appears not the the view feature or Twitter card. Expect Twitter to launch its own photo filters by Christmas. More on this here.