Tips on Verifying Video from Others

I’ve been writing several posts about all I’m learning in the  Verification Handbook. It’s new, free, and worthwhile. Download it on a mobile device and read it over the next few weeks.

The chapter writer, Malachy Browne, from Storyful, says to presume that what you are seeing is not the original, so you need to start by finding the first post and who is behind it. Here are a few of his tips for figuring out if what you are seeing is true:

  • Find keywords on the page on which you see the video, search that platform on those terms and then filter the dates so you can find the earliest version.  Then look for contact info for who posted it. Now your research has just started — find out about that account and who is behind it.
  • Look for clues in the video —  signs or business names. Find the location on Google Street View or look for photos taken in that location to see if they seem to be similar.
  • Compare the video to images on other media platforms or social media to see if they show similar events, locations, backgrounds
  • A new trick for me — if you are checking the date, know that on YouTube the upload time is Pacific Standard Time. 

I hope these tips entice you to read the Verification Handbook.  It’s well worth it.

We live in an era where we have to be suspicious — and our readers, viewers, and listeners are counting on us to give them good information.


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