7 verification tools for better fact-checking
This handy guide outlines go-to tools for verification
Reuters Institute researchers found than less than half the population (43%) trust the media, across all the 36 countries surveyed.
One way publishers can improve trust is ensuring content is fact-checked and verified properly to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Here are 7 tips to help you verify online images and videos...
1. Reverse Image Search
It’s now easier than ever before to replicate and upload duplicate images and videos online. Luckily, there are a multitude of reverse image search tools that can help show you if the content you are checking is original.
TinEye - TinEye creates a “unique and compact digital signature” and compares it with its enormous 26 billion image dataset.
Google Reverse Image Search - Navigate to https://images.google.com and upload or drop your image by clicking on the camera icon. You can also use this on mobile using the browser menu and selecting “request desktop site.”
Yandex - Similarly to Google Reverse Image Search, you can download or drop any image into the search box.
Working out exactly where footage was taken can be a challenge. However, with detailed mapping tools suc as Google Street View and Yandex Maps, you can pinpoint a location and compare what you see in the footage you are verifying with the maps.
3. Big Invid Fake News Debunker
Just as its name suggests, this plugin is a go-to for journalists keen to ‘debunk’ if content is not original. Using the ‘Analysis’ tab you can check the location and time of YouTube and Facebook videos. It also has options for Twitter video search, reverse image search options and metadata summaries.
This open-source website developed by Michael Bazzell, an international privacy consultant is handy for tracking information on an individual or group on social media.
Simply go to the ‘Tools’ menu on the main page and click on a platform. The site allows for searches across most social platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
The site also lets you reverse image search across Google, Bing, TinEye, Yandex and Baidu.
5. Amnesty International YouTube DataViewer
Developed by Amnesty International this easy-to-use tool captures thumbnail images of any YouTube video you paste it. The site then lets you reverse image search each thumbnail to see if the video or parts of the video have been uploaded previously online.
6. Jeffrey's Image Metadata Viewer
Exif data is the stored data on images ranging from the camera model, data and time to GPS. It is handy to find out particularly if you are unsure when a photo was taken from .
Note - Most social media platforms strip metadata from images.
7. Weather Underground
If you know the rough location and date when an image or video was taken, historical weather searches can help in verifying it. Look to see what the weather appears to be in the content and cross-check using
Weather Underground. The website offers historical weather searches dating back in some cases to 1945!
What have Reuters been doing to tackle misinformation?
Reuters have developed the Reuters News Tracer™. This tool has enabled journalists to spot and validate real news in real time on Twitter®.
When an earthquake in Ecuador caused the deaths of 77 people in April 2016, Reuters News Tracer gave its journalists 18 minutes to gather more information before another news outlet broke the story.
It also helped the news team get an 8-minute head start in reporting on the Brussels bombings, and a 15-minute head start on sending out a news alert on the Chelsea bombing in New York in October 2016.
Want access to verified, accurate user-generated content?