Journalists often complain that they don’t have time to verify information before publishing it. The problem is time: at Armenian news websites, journalists are required to work at a fast pace. As a result, unverified and false information, photos, and videos sometimes flood the internet. News verification is a problem for the entire world today.
Of course, to solve the world’s problems, serious human and financial resources are needed to accurately and effectively verify the entire flow of information. Armenian news sites also have a human resources problem. But in daily work, it’s possible to substantially reduce the amount of false information — by using a few tools. These can be found in, for example, the Google Chrome web store and allow users to quickly carry out basic verification of information.
The Storyful Multisearch extension allows users to immediately query keywords in several search engines and social networking sites. It helps save time.
RevEye Reverse Image Search allows users to perform an inverse search of images; that is, it provides the opportunity to find in search engines where an image appears online. This is a very important tool, since it helps to find fake images and even fake users. The extension works in five search engines at once: Google, Yandex, Bing, Baidu, and TinEye.
Whois Mind shows the name under which a given website is registered: the registration email address, mailing address, and phone number.
Wayback Machine helps to see the archive of the internet. You go to a webpage, but it’s already been removed. If it was removed days or weeks ago, it’s possible to find it, for example, in Google’s cache. But what to do if the link is very old and has irretrievably disappeared from search engines? Here Archive.org may help, where numerous webpages are stored and most importantly, preserved.
Fake video news debunker is a plugin of several advanced verification tools for photos and videos, which permits users to perform a professional inspection.
With First Draft NewsCheck, users can perform a coordinated data verification and even add a button that can be embedded on a user’s website to show how reliable the information is.
When misinformation is not specially created by professionals and arose because of confusion or other reasons, such tools will allow users to promptly verify and clarify the main bulk of the information.
The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.