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REVEAL | December 4, 2023

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Verify this week (01/2015)

Verify this week (01/2015)
Linda Rath-Wiggins

Every week, we provide interesting links from around the web that discuss issues regarding the verification processes of content from social media. Here is our list for this week.



We are back in 2015 – with more stories on debunking fakes, more revealing links to websites, projects and initiatives that are all about verifying content from Social Media.

Fake images, media errors and the worst hoaxes in 2014

We start off with a revealing list of 86 images from 2014 “that were totally fake”. If you have been following our blog, you might remember some of them, such as the boy allegedly sleeping between his parents’ graves. Or you might have seen them on other social media sites because some of the images have actually been (re-)tweeted by very popular Twitter accounts …

Craig Silverman has also listed very noteworthy fakes from 2014. However, his list concerns errors made by media organizations, including the New York Times and The Economist.

The Washington Post’s list also includes some of the biggest hoaxes from last year: remember the wolves at the Olympic Games or the white flags at the Brooklyn Bridge?

Source: Gizmodo, Poynter and The Washington Post

How and why the BBC verifies UGC – looking back and ahead

This article takes you back to 2004, when the tsunami hit, among others, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia. The tragedy changed the way eyewitness accounts are taken into consideration by the BBC and other media organisations. In the BBC’s case it initiated the broadcaster’s user-generated content (UGC) hub – first as a pilot, to later become an integral part of the newsroom. Because of the suicide bombers in London, 9/11, the protests in Iran and the Arab Spring, among other things, the BBC UGC hub is there to stay in order to “gather the best material sent in by the audience and share it across the BBC.” The more citizen journalists become involved, the more important the fact-checking process becomes: “We always check every image, video or key contact before we broadcast them, to make sure they are genuine and also to check any potential copyright issues”, writes Sally Taft of the BBC in this article that looks back on 10 years of the BBC’s UGC and Social Media Hub.

Source: BBC

Real-Time verification

Last year, we already reported on open-source toolkit Citizen Desk. Now, Citizen Desk 2.0, developed by Sourcefabric, a nonprofit open source software developer for independent news media, is out and you can check out the demo here.
Source: ICFJ

Interview with Eliot Higgins

Deutsche Welle’s program Shift has published an interview with British blogger Eliot Higgins, who deciphers videos from war zones. We already reported on Higgins’ platform Bellingcat earlier on ‘Verify This Week’ (e.g. in the context of the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17). In this video you can find out more on how Eliot works and debunks hoaxes.

Source: Deutsche Welle

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