"False information can cost lives. But no information can also cost lives, especially in a crisis zone. Indeed, information is perishable so the potential value of information must be weighed against the urgency of the situation. Correct information that arrives too late is useless. Crowdsourced information can provide rapid situational awareness, especially when added to a live crisis map. But information in the social media space may not be reliable or immediately verifiable. This may explain why humanitarian (and news) organizations are often reluctant to leverage crowdsourced crisis maps. Many believe that verifying crowdsourced information is either too challenging or impossible.The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that concrete strategies do exist for the verification of geo-referenced crowdsourced social media information.The study first provides a brief introduction to crisis mapping and argues that crowdsourcing is simply non-probability sampling.Next, five case studies comprising various efforts to verify social media are analyzed to demonstrate how different verification strategies work."
"Over the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to collect every good piece of writing and advice about verifying social media content and other types of information that flow across networks.
This form of verification involves some new tools and techniques, and requires a basic understanding of the way networks operate and how people use them. It also requires many of the so-called old school values and techniques that have been around for a while: being skeptical, asking questions, tracking down high quality sources, exercising restraint, collaborating and communicating with team members."
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