Today I was in a fascinating lecture. The Lithuanian Journalism Center organized the talk conducted by Marek Miller, a journalist, and member of the Google News Lab team. Google News Lab is a part of Google News Initiative project. The primary purpose is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs and help them to drive innovation in news.
The topic of this lecture “Fact checking options and tools.” Marek Miller introduced methods and tools for journalists to identify fake news. I’m not a journalist, but the topic of the lecture was very interesting for me because it is partly related to cybersecurity and useful to my Master Thesis I am currently working on.
Fake news is a big problem nowadays, especially if you’re a journalist and you care about the quality of your publications. Fake news can make a massive impact on society and even on economics. I don’t want to try to retell everything that was said by Marek Miller, but I glad that such corporations like Google takes care of such phenomena as fake news and fight against it.
Google News Lab suggested fact checking tools
Marek Miller provided a list of online tools that can significantly improve your fake news checking and debunking process. I think I will write a series of posts to show how these tools work and what kind of data you can get with them and what kind of analysis you can make.
News source verification tools
- Whois – who registered the domain?
- DNS History – what changes have been made to the domain name servers?
- Wayback Machine – historical data of websites
- Link Explorer – how many sites link to the page
Image verification tools
- Google Image Search – tool for doing the reverse image search
- EXIF data – tool for reading image file’s metadata
- InVid – a tool for analyzing pics and videos (also forensic analysis)
- RevEye Chrome extension – a tool for reverse image search in multiple search engines
Video verification tools
- YouTube – World’s largest library of video files
- Frame by Frame Chrome extension – Chrome extension for frame by frame video analysis
- Watch Frame by Frame – online tool for a video frame by frame analysis
- YouTube Data Viewer – online tool for finding exact upload time, keyframes and metadata analysis
- RevEye Chrome extension (repeated) – tool for a reverse image search of video thumbnails in multiple search engines
- InVid (repeated) – tool for analyzing pics and videos (also forensic analysis), keyframes and thumbnails analysis
- VLC Media Player – software for all video file formats, allows to watch videos in slow motion
Text verification tools
- Google Translate – translating tool: text, voice, image, handwriting etc.
- Snopes.com – fake news debunking site
- Factcheck.org – fake news debunking site
- Washington Post Fact Checker – fake news debunking site
- EU vs Disinfo – fake news debunking site
- Google Fact Check Explorer – fake news debunking site
Location verification tools
- Google Maps / Google Street View – use from Google Maps by pressing the icon (bottom right)
- Google Earth – Chrome version of Google Earth
- Google Earth Pro – free software to download on your computer
- Suncalc – tool that helps verify location and time by showing sun movement and sunlight phases during the given day at the given location
- Mapchecking – tool that calculates the maximum number of people in a selected area on Google Maps
- Wikimapia – online map with crowdsourced resources applied
Fact-checking and verification tools and other resources
- Online verification course – free training from Google News Initiative
- First Draft News – first step for online verification resources
- First Draft online verification course – free online verification training
- NewsCheck extension – Chrome extension for verifying pictures and videos according to tips from First Draft
- Citizen Evidence – authentication techniques for human rights researchers from Amnesty International
- Verification Junkie – directory of tools for verifying and fact-checking
I hope you’ll find something interesting on this list and try to identify fake news found on the Internet independently.