Journalism, 'Fake News' and Disinformation: A Handbook for Journalism Education and Training
Module Six: Social Media Verification
Social Media Verification: Assessing Sources and Visual Content
By Tom Trewinnard and Fergus Bell
This module is designed to help participants identify and verify the original source of digital information online. It will introduce different strategies for determining the authenticity of sources, photos and videos, especially User Generated Content (UGC) shared via social networks. By the end of this module, participants should be aware of different types of false and misleading content often shared during breaking news events on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Such content is periodically picked up and carried by otherwise reliable news organisations, serving to discredit them. It is also inadvertently redistributed and amplified on social networks by journalists, who are sometimes targeted by malicious actors with a view to influencing public debate and leveraging reporters’ credibility as trusted sources. Participants will be asked to test their instincts with real-world scenarios and examples, before putting into practice basic investigative techniques and strategies for verifying content.
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