Social Media: Verification Tools

Use:  Verify sources of social media content to ensure veracity

In an earlier post, I shared information on Verification Junkie, a site that aggregates tools to help journalists assess the veracity of sources and information on social media sites.  (For a good source of case studies and best practices on social media verification, click here.)

Here are couple of new (and old) tools that allow journalists to verify if a source is real by identifying that person’s presence on multiple social networks.

Pipl helps verify if information posted is from a real person.  Users can search by name, user name, e-mail address, phone number and location.  (Source: Tool for journalists: Pipl, for verifying social media sources).

Identify is a Firefox plug-in that has been around since at least 2009 that will automatically gather information from across the Web from a page associated to a specific person (any page that has the tag rel=”me”).  The plug-in is invoked by clicking the control key and the “i” key.  It is not available for Firefox version 26.0 (so I was unable to test it).  (Source:  Identify: Google People With Two Keystrokes).

Falcon is a similar plug-in that works on Chrome browsers.  I was able to test this one and it’s pretty cool.  I plugged in the facebook URL of a friend and its showed me his location, various e-mail accounts, identities on Google+, Quora, YouTube, Foursquare, Instagram, Klout and Aboutme. However,  I tried it with my Facebook URL but it did not identify my Gmail, Twitter, Instagram,or Google+ accounts. (It doesn’t work, yet, for LinkedIn). Plus it identified my location as New York rather than Virginia.  But if the goal is to make sure the user is authentic, Falcon appears to work.


InformaCam, while not a verification tool for third-parties, does provide users with the ability to provide identifying information in their photos.  Available for android devices, the tool allows users to attach a variety of metadata to pictures and video, including GPS coordinates, time stamps, compass bearings, etc.  As developer Nathan Freitas says: it creates “a digital snapshot of the environment in which the photo or video was taken.” (Source: InformaCam Beta Preview: New Open Source Tool Helps Verify Citizen Media).

Update 1/23/14Free book to help journalists “get a handle” on verification


Social Media: Verification Junkie

Use:  Verify the veracity of information posted on social media sites.

Verification Junkie is not a technology but a new “directory of tools for verifying, fact checking and assessing the validity of social media and user generated content.”

Much like this blog (aggregating useful tools and technology for revenue and audience growth), Verification Junkie’s author Josh Stearns will attempt to “profile and link to useful, interesting and emerging tools and apps that citizens, journalists or newsrooms can use in their day-to-day work. The emphasis here is on the useful, concrete tools people are building to help assess the validity and accuracy of social media content – text, video and photos.”

Among the tools currently featured on the site are MediaBugs,, SwiftRiver and Storyful.


Nieman Journalism Lab: Verification Junkie is a new compendium of online tools for fact-checking

Groundswell: Introducing Verification Junkie