How to do Video Verification?

In this article, we will explore the importance of video verification, its challenges, and practical tips to verify videos.

Videos are one of the most powerful tools for storytelling, news reporting, and spreading information. However, with the rise of video-sharing platforms, it has become easier for fake and misleading videos to circulate rapidly, causing significant harm and damage. 

To combat this problem, video verification has emerged as a crucial skill for anyone who consumes or shares videos online. 

In this article, we will explore the importance of video verification, the challenges it presents, and provide practical tips and strategies for effective video verification.

Challenges of Video Verification

Video verification presents several challenges, such as the advanced deepfake videos, which use artificial intelligence to create realistic but completely fabricated content. 

Other challenges include the manipulation of videos through editing or by taking them out of context, as well as the difficulty of verifying the source and authenticity of videos posted on social media platforms. 

Additionally, the sheer volume of videos posted online and the speed at which they can spread make it challenging to effectively verify each one. Despite these challenges, video verification is a crucial aspect of media literacy and the fight against disinformation and fake news.

Type of Fake Videos

Fake videos can take on many different forms, such as:

  • Misleading edits: Videos that have been edited in a way that changes the original context of the footage, making it appear to show something that did not actually occur.
  • Edited videos: Videos that are manipulated to create a different version from the original footage by altering or removing parts of the video.
  • Out of context footage: Videos that are real, but are shared out of context to give them a different meaning or to promote a specific agenda.
  • Hoaxes: Videos that are completely staged or fabricated, often for the purpose of generating views or clicks.
  • Satire or parody: Videos that are created to be humorous or satirical, but may be mistaken for real footage if they are taken out of context.
  • Deepfakes: Videos that use artificial intelligence technology to manipulate images and audio in a way that creates a realistic-looking but completely fake video.

How to Approach Video Verification?

Step 1: Assess the Source 

The first step in verifying a video is to assess the source. Consider who is sharing the video and where it was originally posted. Is the source reputable and trustworthy, or is it an unknown or unreliable source? If the video was shared on social media, look at the account that shared it. Is it a verified account? How many followers does it have? Is it a personal account or a news organization? By assessing the source, you can begin to get an idea of the video’s credibility.

Example: A video of a man claiming to have seen a UFO is posted on a personal Twitter account with only a few followers. This source is not reliable and should be viewed with skepticism.

Step 2: Watch the Video Carefully

The next step is to watch the video in its entirety. Take note of any details that may help in verifying its authenticity, such as the date and time the video was filmed, the location, and any visible landmarks or signage. Also pay attention to the people or objects in the video. Are they easily identifiable, or are they obscured or partially hidden? This information can be useful in determining if the video has been manipulated.

Real Life Example: A video of a protest in front of a government building shows the date and time stamp in the corner of the screen, as well as a recognizable landmark in the background. This information can be used to verify the authenticity of the video.

Step 3: Search for Additional Information 

After watching the video, the next step is to search for additional information. This can include news articles, social media posts, and eyewitness accounts. Look for information that can help verify the video’s authenticity, such as news reports or eyewitness accounts that corroborate the events depicted in the video.

Example: A video of a police officer using excessive force during an arrest is posted on social media. Searching for news articles or other videos that show the same incident can help verify the authenticity of the video.

Step 4: Use Verification Tools 

There are many verification tools available online that can help verify a video’s authenticity. These tools can analyze the video for signs of manipulation or provide additional information about the video’s source. Some popular verification tools include Google Reverse Image Search, InVID, and YouTube Data Viewer.

Example: A video of a man claiming to have seen a supernatural creature is analyzed using InVID, which reveals that the video has been doctored using editing software.

Step 5: Verify the Video 

After assessing the source, watching the video, searching for additional information, and using verification tools, it’s time to verify the video. Determine if the video is authentic, manipulated, or entirely fabricated. Consider the information gathered throughout the verification process and make an informed decision about the video’s accuracy.

Example: After verifying a video of a protest, it is determined that the video is authentic and accurately depicts the events that took place.

Neve Miss The Context

One thing that is often ignored but is important in verifying a video is the context. Context refers to the circumstances or setting in which an event or video takes place, and understanding the context is essential in verifying the authenticity of a video.

The context of a video provides crucial information that helps in determining the authenticity and accuracy of the video. This includes the location, time, date, and other relevant details about the video. 

For example, a video of a natural disaster, which may be genuine, but without the proper context, such as the location and the time of the event, it could be easily misrepresented or misinterpreted.

Therefore, verifying the context of a video is critical in video verification as it can help identify the authenticity and accuracy of the video.

Tools for Video Verification

Video verification is a crucial skill in the era of social media. There are various tools and techniques that can help in effective video verification. 

Google Reverse Image Search: It allows users to search for the original source of an image or video. This tool can help in detecting manipulated images or videos that have been edited or altered in some way. 

InVID Verification Plugin: It is a browser extension that helps in analyzing the metadata of a video and detecting any signs of manipulation or tampering. 

YouTube Data Viewer: It is a free online tool developed by Amnesty International’s Citizen Evidence Lab that helps in the verification of YouTube videos. It extracts metadata from the YouTube video, such as the upload date, location, and device used to record the video. It also provides additional information such as thumbnail images and related videos, which can be useful in verifying the authenticity of the video. 

Google Maps: If a video contains identifiable landmarks, such as buildings or streets, Google Maps can help verify the location where the video was filmed. By comparing the video with satellite imagery and Street View on Google Maps, it is possible to confirm the accuracy of the location information provided in the video.

Proper training and experience in using these tools can help in effective video verification and preventing the spread of fake videos.

Video verification is a crucial skill in the age of digital media, where fake videos can easily be created and spread. The challenges of video verification include edited videos, manipulated content, and the lack of context. It is important to pay attention to the context of the video. Ignoring context can lead to misinformation and contribute to the spread of fake news.

Quiz

  1. True or False: One way to verify a video is to rely solely on the information provided in the video’s caption or description.
  1. True or False: Edited videos are easy to identify.
  1. True or False: Google Maps can be a helpful tool in video verification. 
  1. True or False: Context is not important when verifying a video. 
  1. True or False: Video verification involves only checking the visual content of a video. 
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Media Literacy Team
Media Literacy Team
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