How do you know what’s on is true?

One of the new social media apps that has great promise for reporting  is, as outlined in the last post (below).

But when touting her new product before an audience of investigative reporters at IRE last month, Jennifer Peck was quick to note that while you can be sure the tweet, post, pin or picture on came from that location, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily valid.

Remember this fake photo:


It came from the right location, but it was a photoshopped image, according to Mashable’s article on seven fake Hurricane Sandy photos.

So you need to verify photos that you find on social media:

  • use other sources to compare
  • use more than online sources
  • figure out who  the original source is
  • talk to the original source, ideally by phone, to determine if s/he is really that person and has reason to know or have this  information.

To check if a photo has been changed, see this Ready Reporter post on how to debunk photos.

For more helpful tips, I recommend this blog post “how to verify information from tweets” from Steve Buttry, a digital editor at the Journal Register company.


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