“The dramatic and sustained rise of UGC is a serious challenge to media,” said Niko Ruokosuo, Scoopshot CEO. “UGC provides media companies with expanded opportunity to report news as it happens, but this content also carries a certain amount of risk. For example, widely published images during Hurricane Sandy included fake and manipulated UGC. If not managed properly, UGC can pose problems for media groups who prize, as we do, content legitimacy.”
To uphold the highest standards of accuracy, many journalistic institutions are spending hours in an ongoing effort to ensure image authenticity, often under deadline pressure. Ruokosuo continued, “In a world where every second counts, media companies do not have the time or resources to manually verify every image they want to publish. Time and labour aside, manual inspection methods cannot mitigate the risk of manipulated images. For this reason we’ve developed a new tool within the Scoopshot ecosystem that instantly and graphically shows media companies the authenticity level of any user-submitted image. Our system basically substitutes an inherently flawed manual process that may take an hour per image for a highly-automated, intelligent programme that takes seconds.”
Images only achieve a top authenticity score if they are taken with Scoopshot’s mobile application, not imported from the phone’s photo gallery. This scenario guarantees that the photo has not been removed from the Scoopshot ecosystem and the image has not been edited or altered in any way. Each pixel of the photo file is transferred as captured by the phone’s camera. Scoopshot’s Authenticity program works by automatically analyzing images against criterions ranging from image resolution to the likelihood that the photo’s metadata has been modified. If further authentication is required, the system provides access to the photographer’s contact information.
While manual verification still plays a crucial role in UGC workflow, media companies, with the increasing volume of content, need cutting edge tools to verify visual content. The Scoopshot authenticity system saves media groups time and money while safeguarding accuracy and improving the competitive edge.
To continuously improve UGC verification standards, Scoopshot is working with Aalto University (Finland) to develop new processes that distinguish between two-dimensional image, e.g., computer screens, books, etc., and three-dimensional, real life images. Once developed, this new protocol will be incorporated into Scoopshot’s growing and powerful array of authentication and publishing tools. ENDS
Scoopshot is a digital content service that expands opportunities for modern media companies to engage communities through the lens of mobile photography. With Scoopshot, media companies gain instant access to a global pool of mobile and professional photographers. Media companies can send tasks to engage the crowd, assign professional photographers, and buy news photos from a constant stream of eyewitness images captured around the world.
Operating in 177 countries, Scoopshot has more than 260,000 mobile users and 1,100 professional photographers. More than 50 publications use Scoopshot’s service to source eyewitness visual content. Scoopshot’s website is: http://www.scoopshot.com/