social media images and verification

February 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Newspapers and websites have been quick to take advantage of having not just photojournalists but also having thousands of pairs of eyes everywhere, anyone who has a camera phone is a journalist, with stock sites that allow you to upload your photos, and possibly get your images used for a news storys is become more and more popular, newspapers don’t have to pay costs of sending journalists overseas to photograph events when they can have someone already at the scene with a camera phone send them the images but as a photographer myself this makes me wonder about the authenticity and verification of images collected though social media sites, I know just as well as any other photographer images can be adjusted or stolen if not copyrighted and quality of an image can be just as important when telling a story though a photo, after all a photograph is a documentation of history, it needs to stand the test of time, can a quick snap of a blurry photo taken on a camera phone really be used at all?

Verification can be a problem when an image is sourced though social media, the context of an image and the attribution are easily lost when it becomes retweeted or shared, anyone can simpley copy and paste an image and then tweet it out again making it impossible to find the true ownership of an image. if a newspaper was to use the image how do they know who the true photographer is? How does the news organisation distribute and supply a financial transaction with out knowing the original owner?

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