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

Last modified: Wednesday, 14 Nov 2018, 16:49