Upstairs | The Garret
Being a social media content creator, we are surrounded by videos. Our 200+ strong Community Correspondents are on the ground, in remote India, always looking out for issues that they feel should get amplified. That ground there is rife with stories, but also with rumour and fear. In fact we recently did a campaign ‘Jaan Jao Jaan Bachao’ with The Quint (Supported by Google News Initiative) on Vaccine hesitancy, to highlight and counter the unverified forwards on WhatsApp and social media that slowed down the process of recovering from the pandemic.
Luckily for us, our old friend Bharat Nayak from The Logical Indian was here in Goa. The Logical Indian is an independent and public-spirited digital media platform. Bharat Nayak leads the Fact Check Team there and since the inception, he has been instrumental in strategising the execution of the content. He is also a verification trainer with Google News Initiative Trainer Network in India, a program to help students fight the tide of online misinformation, and train them on tools that can help them report on fake news.
He gladly accepted our invitation to interact with us and give us some pro tips on spotting fake news a.k.a. misinformation. It was an informal set up, in our attic, and we all were excited as all of us looked up to The Logical Indians' strong rational values (so much so that one of our colleagues has cancelled his leave to join in).
The Logical Indian's Bharat Nayak at the workshop for Video Volunteers employees to identify fake news
It was an interactive session, and we started having an interesting conversation - him telling us about tools to backtrack information through Google Reverse Image Search, Yandex, Tin Eye etc. With the photos that he was showing on the projector slides, it was getting engrossing - as we all have seen, experienced and knew about those mollified stories, images and videos.
Towards the end, he showed us one of the BBC stories about geo locating a footage, of a barbarous killing of unarmed civilians, in North West Africa, hands tied and heads covered, shot point blank, by unruly Cameroonian Military looking out for Boko Haram and how they were traced back by visual and digital forensics and some really good tech tools.
The presentation that day made us realise again that we need to be always vigilant, and VV’s importance and responsibility as content creators, working with sensitive issues from media dark areas. Thank you Bharat, for reaffirming our conviction to stand by the truth and justice.
The key learning points from the workshop are below:
Pro Tips to fact check :
- Be Intuitive.
- Think Critically.
- Gullibility is so passé.
- Goggle Time Frame search. Looking for images available before a certain date to ascertain the origin.
- Translate the text in image and then search.
- Image Magnifier : look for shadows, layer of photoshop, text in photo for location
(shop name/number, vehicle registration number)
Tools : for video
Tools : for photos
- https://toolbox.google.com › factcheck › explorer
Video Volunteers was awarded at a gala function held at BAFTA, London.