Verify This Week (4/2015)
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.
How to verify videos? A step-by-step tutorial.
We often have doubts about the veracity of a video. Whether it is the latest beheading video of the Islamic State or an attack on public transport in the Eastern part of the Ukraine. But how does one actually verify a video? Malachy Browne, managing editor of Reported.ly, walks us through how he verified videos of an airstrike in Syria, step by step.
Facebook Fighting Fake News
Well, actually Facebook isn’t doing all that much. They want you, the user, to help them decide what is fake and what is not. But how would you know? Sometimes, even fake stories go viral.
I’m just guessing that a title, such as “An 85-year-old woman was arrested for making fur coats out of her neighbours’ cats” sounds like an interesting story to read but isn’t necessarily true. Who would be able to report that? Facebook wants to give users some kind of editorial possibilities but one question remains: Can Facebook stay neutral by crowdsourcing their “fake-filter”? Caroline O’Donovan explains the Facebook strategy in more detail here.
Keeping track of UK jihadis
Social Media experts are teaching intelligence agencies how to make sense of Social Media content. Here is a story by Mark Townsend of The Guardian about a team of analysts at King’s College who are building a database of western Islamic State fighters by analysing Twitter and Facebook. It seems that the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) has created an intelligence goldmine.
Source: The Guardian
How trustworthy is your expert?
In the aftermath of the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Fox News portrayed Muslims in Europe in a very negative way by reporting that “certain parts of Europe are ‘no-go zones’ where Islamic law supposedly supersedes local law and where non-Muslims fear to go.”
Part of this misinformation originated from the so-called “terrorism expert” Steve Emerson who was allowed to make controversial statements on Fox News. A more extensive research of the background of Emerson shows that he is part of “a small, tightly networked group of misinformation experts that peddle hate and fear of Muslims and Islam”. Big mistake by Fox News to have Emerson on air as their “terrorism expert”. Fox News realized this and did the only thing that fitted this situation; apologise, apologise, apologise.