Here are Fact-Checking Tools and Tips to Help in Verifying Vaccine Information Online

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Let’s face it. A lot of Filipinos heavily rely on social media platforms for information about the pandemic as well as the ongoing vaccination efforts. As such, it’s important to verify the information we see online before sharing it with others. Here are some tips from FYT and Google’s recently concluded #FYTCOVID19: Fighting Vaccine Misinformation webinar:

Use Google Search Operators

Short commands that help filter search results. To find exact matches, enclose search queries in quotation marks. Using the “+” and “-” symbols between two terms will include or exclude related matches, respectively. You can limit results from a specific website by using “site:”. or view results from a specific time range by choosing “custom range” in the Tools option. For a list of search operators, click here.

Confirm when a post was uploaded

The date and time of when a post was uploaded is important when relating a source to a context. Usually, this can be easily identified on some social media platforms, where hovering over the date and time or selecting “inspect” allows you to view precise upload details. You can also use InVid to verify the exact local upload time of YouTube videos.

Images of footages can be easily used in the wrong context. There are a lot of available tools online to verify the original source of an image such as Google Image Search, Yandex, Bing, Tineye, and Reveye among others. For videos, InVid’s verification plugin allows the extraction of multiple keyframes and do reverse image search on them.

Identify the Geolocation

Sometimes, a simple reverse image search can help identify where a photo or video was taken in order to verify if an incident took place where it claims to have happened. If not, it will be helpful to look out for street layouts, statues and monuments, architectural details, street signs and shopfronts, license plates, as well as terrains and topographies.

Be keen on details when watching videos

Be sure to watch videos right through because details can be crucial. Watch out for camera movement and take time to pause to catch the decisive view you need. You may also use the apostrophe and period keys to advance or reverse frame by frame. Most importantly, don’t forget to listen – you may be able to pick out place names, accents, dialects.

Utilize Google Maps

Even if you can’t be present in a specific location, you may use Google Map’s Street View. You may even view old street view images of the same location through the “historical view” function.

To learn more on how to fact-check vaccine information, head on over to the FYT YouTube Channel and watch the free “#FYTCOVID-19: Fighting vaccine misinformation” webinar to hear from experts from the health sector, the academe, esteemed journalists, and Google.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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