Verification workshop

17/09/13 Reverse order Timestamp format


  1. Claire Wardle (@cward1e), director of news services at Storyful, starts off the session by drawing the audience's attention to a Google+ community aiming to do collaborative verification. She says it's very heartening, and "when it comes to verification, it's in nobody's interest to be wrong".

    She says verification is a process, a series of checks that finally leads to an editorial judgement. The three checkpoints are source, date and location. She says the idea that "this is UGC, we can't verify it" will not hold for long.

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  2. She says what journalists should be looking for is a phone number, and that talking on the phone to your source is the journalism gold standard.

    When checking the date, Wardle says it's important to know which time zone the website in question uses, as some may display as posted on the previous day.

    She says EXIF data can also help establish the location or even the name of the person who took the photo. She recommends "Jeffrey's Exif Viewer" as a tool to get the most out of this data.


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  3. She says that "on every video that you find, it should be possible to geolocate using satellite imagery". She recommends Google Earth for this purpose, and tells the audience that it's important to look for any buildings or topography that may help you identify the location of the camera, rather than just paying attention to the action alone.

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  4. Some questions to ask yourself when analysing user generated videos: Does the weather report match up? Do the accents or dialect indicate a location?

    Wardle finishes off by telling the audience that they should always assume something is false and work their way backwards, a process known as "the bullshit meter" at Storyful.

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  5. Next up is Eric Siereveld (@EricSiereveld), vice-president of Scoopshoot, who also talks about the importance of EXIF data, and especially about the absence of this data which means you should be "very, very careful".

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  6. He says Scoopshoot now has an option to search their photo and video database for content that has been verified. However, he says this removes about 70 per cent of their content.

    Scoopshoot charges media outlets a monthly fee for unlimited access.

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  7. Wardle says verification can take anywhere from three minutes to an hour, and it all depends on how well you know the area. She says roadblocks tend to exist when the mapping is not up to date or there has been a natural disaster in the area which makes establishing a location impossible.

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  8. Question for Siereveld: How do you get people signed up to Scoopshoot and how do you keep them?

    Siereveld says it starts with the media using it. He says Germany is the most active country on Scoopshoot at the moment. The trick is to keep it active, and he says his biggest challenge in media is the lack of time and creativity.

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  9. Wardle rounds up the session by saying that audiences are pushing the media to improve, and that Storyful will become much more transparent about what they know and what they don't.

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