HOW TO VERIFY INFORMATION
FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

Conférence Internationale
“Les Nouvelles Pratiques du Journalisme”
Paris, 2 D...
FACTS & SOURCES

“Fact-checking is not about the
verification of facts,
but about the
reliability of sources”
Der Spiegel’...
1440-MINUTES NEWS CYCLE

• Scarcity of time/attention
• Abundance of sources available
• “Nobody knows you’re a dog”
FACELESS DOGS?

“Every piece of information, and every person,
leaves a trail of data that you can use to build a
picture ...
Tweet first, verify later
“The first Twitter Disaster”
Foreign Policy
FLICKR

YOUTUBE

FACEBOOK

USHAHIDI
UGC AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA

Three different approaches to social media:
1.BBC.com
Centralized
2.The Guardian.co.uk
Decentral...
BBC.com
Centralized Approach
UGC Hub located at the “heart” of the
BBC’s newsroom in London

POLICY

TEAM
•23 people

•

A...
THE GUARDIAN.co.uk
Decentralized Approach
Mutualization of the newspaper

POLICY

TEAM
•Meg Pickard, Head of the Digital
E...
CNN.com
Community-Centered Approach
iReport.com: a proprietary, user
generated content platform

POLICY

TEAM
•20 people

...
HAITI - STORIES
CNN has the highest number of stories
HAITI - SOURCES
CNN has the highest number of sources
HAITI – SOURCES FROM HAITI
CNN: Social media crucial for the coverage from Haiti
HAITI – SOME CONCLUSIONS

1.

Without professionals on the ground UGC can help provide useful first-hand
witnesses (text, ...
Tools for social media
verification
GOOGLE MAPS – STREET VIEW
EXIF DATA

http://regex.info/exif.cgi
PHOTOSHOPPED?

http://errorlevelanalysis.com/
http://errorlevelanalysis.com/
http://errorlevelanalysis.com/
TWEET VERIFICATION

• Witnesses (the creators of original content)
• Amplifiers (passing content on to a wider audience)
•...
TWITTER CHECK-LIST

1. Timestamp
2. Contextual tweets
3. Authority
4. How many past tweets
5. Google them
6. Check for rel...
FOLLOW UP THE TIP

• Ask for a phone number and call the person
• Ask if they witnessed first-hand or heard about it
• Ask...
HUMAN ALGORITHM
“There is no secret sauce in this process.
It is old fashioned reporting
powered by advanced social web tools”
USEFUL RESOURCES
Eight Simple Rules for Doing Accurate Journalism - Columbia Journalism Review
Best Practices for Social M...
NICOLA BRUNO
www.effecinque.org
Twitter @nicolabruno
Email nicobruno@gmail.com
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
How to verify information from social media
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How to verify information from social media

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Workshop on Digital Fact-checking at the Science Po's School of Journalism - 2 December 2011

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How to verify information from social media

  1. 1. HOW TO VERIFY INFORMATION FROM SOCIAL MEDIA Conférence Internationale “Les Nouvelles Pratiques du Journalisme” Paris, 2 December 2011
  2. 2. FACTS & SOURCES “Fact-checking is not about the verification of facts, but about the reliability of sources” Der Spiegel’s fact-checker
  3. 3. 1440-MINUTES NEWS CYCLE • Scarcity of time/attention • Abundance of sources available • “Nobody knows you’re a dog”
  4. 4. FACELESS DOGS? “Every piece of information, and every person, leaves a trail of data that you can use to build a picture of its reliability” Paul Bradshaw
  5. 5. Tweet first, verify later
  6. 6. “The first Twitter Disaster” Foreign Policy
  7. 7. FLICKR YOUTUBE FACEBOOK USHAHIDI
  8. 8. UGC AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA Three different approaches to social media: 1.BBC.com Centralized 2.The Guardian.co.uk Decentralized 3.CNN.com Community-centered
  9. 9. BBC.com Centralized Approach UGC Hub located at the “heart” of the BBC’s newsroom in London POLICY TEAM •23 people • Assessing audience’s contributions •24/7 since 2009 • Finding sources on social media •10.000 contributions every day • Verify first, publish later
  10. 10. THE GUARDIAN.co.uk Decentralized Approach Mutualization of the newspaper POLICY TEAM •Meg Pickard, Head of the Digital Engagement •Embedded Community Coordinators •“It’s everybody’s job” • Participating in conversations • Curating live-blogs • Context-based verification process • First tweet, verify later
  11. 11. CNN.com Community-Centered Approach iReport.com: a proprietary, user generated content platform POLICY TEAM •20 people • Only few iReports are authenticated •Everybody is an iReporter • Badge/disclaimer •10.000 iReports every month • Vetted iReports can be aired on CNN • Website: First tweet, verify later
  12. 12. HAITI - STORIES CNN has the highest number of stories
  13. 13. HAITI - SOURCES CNN has the highest number of sources
  14. 14. HAITI – SOURCES FROM HAITI CNN: Social media crucial for the coverage from Haiti
  15. 15. HAITI – SOME CONCLUSIONS 1. Without professionals on the ground UGC can help provide useful first-hand witnesses (text, video, pictures) 2. Not only individuals, but also NGOs were more and more active on social media 3. The 1440-minute news-cycle is changing verification criteria inside mainstream media outlets A) A less strict policy on social media can help news organizations to widen the diversity of voices and to better cover crisis events B) BBC is the news-organizations with the best policies for UGC verification C) The Guardian and CNN prefer speed to accuracy, “curation” to verification
  16. 16. Tools for social media verification
  17. 17. GOOGLE MAPS – STREET VIEW
  18. 18. EXIF DATA http://regex.info/exif.cgi
  19. 19. PHOTOSHOPPED? http://errorlevelanalysis.com/
  20. 20. http://errorlevelanalysis.com/
  21. 21. http://errorlevelanalysis.com/
  22. 22. TWEET VERIFICATION • Witnesses (the creators of original content) • Amplifiers (passing content on to a wider audience) • Filters (people who everyone else looks to for judgement) Mark Little
  23. 23. TWITTER CHECK-LIST 1. Timestamp 2. Contextual tweets 3. Authority 4. How many past tweets 5. Google them 6. Check for related tweets 7. Talk to them directly
  24. 24. FOLLOW UP THE TIP • Ask for a phone number and call the person • Ask if they witnessed first-hand or heard about it • Ask exactly what they witnessed, how they saw it and when • Ask who else may have the same info
  25. 25. HUMAN ALGORITHM
  26. 26. “There is no secret sauce in this process. It is old fashioned reporting powered by advanced social web tools”
  27. 27. USEFUL RESOURCES Eight Simple Rules for Doing Accurate Journalism - Columbia Journalism Review Best Practices for Social Media Verification - Columbia Journalism Review B.S. Detection for Journalists - Slideshare The Human Algorithm - Storyful Blog How to Verify a Tweet - Twitter Journalism Information venue du Web, check! - Slate.fr Tweet First, Verify Later – Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism BBC processes for verifying social media content
  28. 28. NICOLA BRUNO www.effecinque.org Twitter @nicolabruno Email nicobruno@gmail.com

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