Here, we provide interesting links from around the web that discuss issues regarding the verification of content from social media: what tools, services and initiatives are there? Who is doing what? What’s the state of affairs regarding eyewitness media and related issues? Here is our list for this week.
Dangers of vicarious trauma while verifying content
This article highlights the dangers of vicarious trauma (“the trauma that one experiences from second-hand exposure to an extreme event or circumstance that can lead to PTSD”) that can be experienced by journalists who constantly verify footage online via social media from activists or journalists on the ground. According to a report by Eyewitness Media Hub,
viewing eyewitness media, including distressing eyewitness media, is routine among journalism […] the findings also underscore the pervasiveness of vicarious trauma among these workers.
Training and peer support can help to deal with the trauma but according to the study, many media organizations still lack that support. Nothing to take lightly.
New verification platform called Weye
The video platform weye is a promising project helping journalists to use verified video footage in their reporting. The platform aims to provide security through an anonymous upload process and data encryption, technological and crowd-based verification processes and helps journalists to find verified and news-worthy video footage they can refer to. Once a video has been uploaded to the website and has been checked by a network of bloggers and citizen journalists, four different status related to the video can show up: not enough data, facts wrong, facts questionable, facts true. Find more information on how it works exactly here.
Fake News Quiz
First Draft News has published yet another quiz that you can take in order to train your debunking skills. Did David Bowie and Lemmy really meet backstage in their early years? Did the Hubble Telescope really take a picture of a cosmological phenomenon called „gates of heaven“? Check your verifying skills here and learn more about visual clues that might help you verify content in the future.
Source: First Draft News
Increase in hoaxes show need for verification tools
A satirical article in Kenya’s The Standard has claimed that polygamy is legal in Eritrea due to an alleged shortage of men. The story has gone viral, however, it turns out to be unverified.
“News organisations in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Zambia and South Africa all ran with the story, which was swiftly confirmed as false by numerous Eritrean officials.”
This story is just another example for the need for verification tools. The Public Media Alliance points out that
“Verification in such a competitive media landscape is a priority to ensure a well informed audience, but it requires training, which is widely seen as costly and time consuming for cash-strapped outlets.”
Source: Public Media Alliance