Read it HERE.
The app, called Lens 42, is one of a number of new ventures launched to help halt the spread of false information on social media — a problem that’s particularly pressing now that 30 percent of U.S. adults report consuming news on Facebook. Increasingly,research shows, people are distinguishing less and less between mainstream and alternative sources of news and information.
Many companies, like Storyful, Emergent and Grasswire, attempt to debunk or verify stories after they’ve gone viral using a mixture of Reddit-style up-voting, computer algorithms and old-fashioned journalism. Lens 42, however, appeals to those who are posting the news, be they professional journalists or casual observers, to prevent rumors from spreading in the first place.
Photos taken with the Lens 42 app are automatically watermarked with date, time, and GPS location. The app saves photos anonymously on an electronic map, creating a database of verified pictures that unfolds in real time.
There were a number of panels at the Web Summit in Dublin this week that talked about media and journalism, but the one that included VICE News, Time Inc. and Storyful was the discussion that has stuck with me — mostly because of a comment that Storyful founder Mark Little made about the paradigm shift that we’ve seen over the past few years involving real-time social media or “citizen journalism.” Among other things, Little said that “authenticity has replaced authority” when it comes to news, and especially what journalists like to call breaking news.
That makes for a great sound bite — you can tell that Little used to be a TV correspondent before he started the company — but what does it actually mean? For me at least, it means that many people (not all, of course, but many) are willing to pay more attention to sources of information that they believe are close to an event, rather than to traditional sources of sober, objective second-hand or third-hand information. In this scenario, Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat are the platforms that stand to gain, and traditional media like newspapers or even television mostly lose.