Social Media Verification

As a Journalist, social media verification is really important. I find verification important because the information you share with people can effect your whole career. Within the lesson I was reminded that people will lie about anything for a little bit of attention, and so you should always verify what you see on social media.

People on social media are a great way to discover breaking news stories, and they often create user generated content for people in the news industry. From personal experiences, I have seen newsworthy stories on social media myself just by following the people I know. As good as this sounds, many people have lied and still do about things happening in the world.

The content you will often find on social media are posts, videos and images. I now know that these can be verified in a number of ways to make sure they are genuine, and you also have to ask permission from sources to use their content. The methods of verification, that I have learnt, include:

  • get in contact with the source, ask them the 5 W’s (who, what, why, when, where)
  • check it’s the right area by looking on Google street view
  • look at the weather reports and people’s clothing
  • see what’s trending
  • contact authorities if they’re likely to be involved
  • check picture hasn’t been used elsewhere on regex.info
  • run images through tineye.com or google reverse search image to establish ownership
  • use the wolfram alpha website which will help you calculate and find things out

If I didn’t use these methods and check my content was genuine, I know it is likely that it isn’t true. As a journalist this would give me a bad reputation for giving out false information, which is why I think it’s vital to verify social media content.

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Reflection on Social Media

I have discovered that you can do so much with social media to help you with journalism. Twitter, Facebook and Linked In are essential in helping you get your work seen, making stories and finding contacts.

I think Facebook is the easiest social network to use. However, you do have to be very careful because it’s a far less professional site. Facebook is a lot more friend orientated and I, personally, would rather leave it like that and use other sites for professional purposes. My main reason for this, is because my circle of friends are on there and it’s likely for them to upload inappropriate photographs of me drinking and having fun. I also like to have little rants on Facebook to express my feelings and I do swear a lot, and so I have a private Facebook profile so professional people cannot see what i’m doing on there.

Twitter is more complicated than Facebook but it is still a little laid back. However, it is a lot more formal as you can follow people and they follow you despite not knowing each other. This is a good way to make contacts and get in touch with professionals. However, it is complicated because you have to post at certain times of the day to actually get your tweets seen. I now know that it is best to post tweets at tea time because that’s when more people use it.

I’ve only just started to use Linked In and I think it’s the most formal social network because it is full of professionals and students to get into contact with. Hopefully this will help me in the future to find a job and make contacts, I just need to get my portfolio sorted on there.

Image from: http://rutwist.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/linkedin-facebook-twitter.png