Verify This Week (6/2015)
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.
Lies, Damn Lies?
Have you read Craig Silverman’s Tow / Knight report “Lies, Damn Lies, and Viral Content“? If not, we suggest you do so because the report is a brilliant state-of-the-art paper on how the news industry can help debunk false information or stop the spreading of unverified claims: “Lies spread much farther than the truth, and news organizations play a powerful role in making this happen.” Silverman’s report is quite critical about the current status quo, claiming that “today online news media are more part of the problem of online misinformation than they are the solution.”
Source: Tow Center
Debunk on Facebook?
Not only journalists but basically everyone has the opportunity to debunk a fake. Now, Facebook is giving us the chance to “flag” all the content that is unverified. Checkdesk’s Tom Trewinnard wrote this interesting article about how Facebook’s flagging system is not really the best move. Rather, he suggests, there are other – granted more manual – ways to “help limit the spread of fake news stories” and they go like this: (1) help spread the debunk, (2) show the work (e.g. via footnotes and thereby increase transparency of the verification process) and (3) support digital media literacy.
On the discipline of verification
Great excerpt of “The Elements of Journalism” specifically devoted to verification. In this book, the authors Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel claim:
“A more conscious discipline of verification is the best antidote to the old journalism of verification being overrun by a new journalism of assertion, and it would provide citizens with a basis for relying on journalistic accounts.”
Source: Nieman Reports
Verification at the BBC College of Journalism
This video is not new, however, it is still relevant. David Cuen, Social Media Editor at the BBC World Service, talks about which tools to use and what to look out for when verifying content: