Verification: A practical guide
Social media verification best practice guide
Craig Silverman, a journalist and editor of Regret the Error, a blog about media errors, accuracy and verification, has drawn on the work of media experts to compile a best practice guide for social media verification.
Quick Reference Tips on Verifying the Source, Content, Pictures & Video.
Verifying the source
- Location: Is the user situated in the locality of the event or passing on information from a different locality?
- Account history: Check how long the account has existed (recent accounts may be opportunistic) and what kind of content the user normally shares.
- Social network: With whom does the user interact on the social network? Who is sharing the content – and are they credible?
- Communicate: Make direct contact with the source to verify the authenticity of the source and credibility of the information being passed on.
Verifying the content
- Crosscheck: Check the shared information against news sources to check for veracity.
- Crowd-source: Verify accuracy by putting the information out on your networks asking followers to help verify information.
- Find the original: Check message timestamps and go back to the original source of the information. This can also provide additional context or information.
Verifying pictures and video content
- Location: Check the location of the source of the information.
- Crosscheck: Check the graphics against Google Street View or satellite imagery of the location to verify details.
- Also, check the photograph or video against news reports of the event.
- Details: Ensure that the details of the picture or video clip are correct.
- Do the weather and scenery match those of the purported location?
- Do car registrations and vehicle makes match those used in the purported location?
- Translate: Ensure languages and accents are in line with the purported location.
Source: Columbia Journalism Review
Best Practices for Social Media Verification Some tips and thoughts from the experts
by Craig Silverman 2011