The Washington Post is expanding its accountability journalism with the launch of "The Fact Checker’s Guide to Manipulated Video,” a new universal vocabulary to identify and label different forms of online video manipulation.
“The Internet is increasingly populated with false and misleading videos that are spread by politicians, advocacy groups and others and viewed by millions,” said Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer of The Fact Checker. “Building on the context and analysis we provide in our written and video fact checks, we want this system of labeling videos to become the standard for journalists to help people be more informed as they navigate the information landscape.”
The guide will consist of three categories: Missing Context, which denotes if a video lacks or misstates the context in which events occurred; Deceptive Editing, which refers to video that has been edited or rearranged; and Malicious Transformation, which describes when part or all of the video has been manipulated to transform the footage itself.
“As we started to experiment with new methods for fact-checking online video, we found there wasn’t a common language to capture how online videos are being manipulated or in some cases fabricated,” said Nadine Ajaka, senior video producer at The Post. “With that in mind, we set out to hold video creators and sharers accountable. This shared terminology is intended to start a conversation, and it can be expanded as we and other news organizations identify other cases.”
The guide will be accessible on an interactive page featuring an updated catalog of video examples and graphic explainers of why the video falls into a specific category.