The following are notes from Verification Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Verifying Digital Content for Emergency Coverage – A great resource (pdf is free)
Verify – The process of establishing the truth, accuracy, or validity of something.
“We should be more transparent about what we know and don’t know. We should actively address rumors being circulated online. Rather than pretending they’re not circulating, or that they’re not our concern, we should tackle them head-on, challenging the public to question them, scrutinize them, understand where they might have come from, and why.” – Andy Carvin
Verification employs a mix of three factors (by Steve Buttry):
- A person’s resourcefulness, persistence, skepticism and skill
- Sources’ knowledge, reliability and honesty, and the number, variety and reliability of sources you can find and persuade to talk
Basic Steps of Verification
1. Provenance: Is this the original piece of content?
2. Source: Who uploaded the content?
3. Date: When was the content created?
4. Location: Where was the content created?
Tips and Tools for Verification
Look at original source of information (ie Twitter profile) and ask:
- Does person use full name?
- Who are they?
- What organization or business are they connected to?
- What is the intent of sharing this information?
- Is the account “verified?”
- What other kinds of information have they shared in the past?
- Look for their other social media accounts or websites.
Use Tweetdeck to monitor Twitter. It is easier to search and build a body of evidence, rather than just seeing retweets of same information.
Who owns that website? https://whois.net/
Can you verify the following information?
- Photo of soldiers standing guard during Hurricane Sandy at Tomb of Unknown Solider, Arlington VA
2. Giant beach ball rolling down the streets of London during a storm
4. Photo of shark in streets of New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy
5. Video of shark in streets of New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy