Periodic Reporting for period 2 - InVID (In Video Veritas – Verification of Social Media Video Content for the News Industry)
Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-12-31
The digital media revolution and the convergence of social media with broadband wired and wireless connectivity that we are experiencing over the last years are bringing breaking news to online video platforms. Within this new and widely uncharted environment that facilitates the distribution of information, news organisations delivering information by Web streams and TV broadcast often rely on user-generated recordings of breaking and developing news events, instantly shared with the help of social media platforms, to illustrate their story. However, the trustworthiness of the video content shared in social media is not a given. The access to increasingly sophisticated video editing and content management tools, and the ease in which fake information spreads over the internet, make necessary the verification of any third-party content by news outlets and media organizations before publishing it. This is a very challenging and time-demanding task, which reduces the ability of news organisations to break news quickly, while increasing their costs in times of tight budgets. To face these challenges InVID built a platform that provides services for the detection, authentication and assessment of the reliability and accuracy of newsworthy video files and video content spread via social media. This platform enables novel newsroom applications for broadcasters, news agencies, web pure-players, newspapers and publishers to integrate social media content into their news output, without struggling to know if they can trust the material or how they can reach the user to ask permission for re-use. It ensures that verified and rights-cleared video content is readily available for integration into breaking and developing news reports. Validated by real customer pilots, the developed InVID technologies help protecting the news industry from distributing fakes, falsehoods and lost reputation. In this context, the project's specific objectives were: a) the provision of a toolset for the discovery and indexing of newsworthy videos shared online, b) the development of a toolset for the verification of newsworthy videos, c) the establishment of a process for managing video rights, d) the integration of these technologies into a web-based analytics and visualization platform, e) the development of complete verification applications and systems for broadcasters and news agencies, and f) the pursuit of a clear path to innovation.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
"Towards the achievement of the InVID objectives, we: a) developed techniques for breaking news monitoring, content acquisition and indexing, fragment-level video conceptual annotation (1st objective); b) built a toolset for video verification by means of forensic analysis, near-duplicate detection, video logo detection and identification, location detection, and context aggregation and analysis (2nd objective); c) identified current practices and legal framework on UGV reuse in the news industry and developed a module for user-generated content (UGC) rights management that faciliates negotiation of copyrights and terms for reuse (3rd objective); d) built an infrastructure that enables the storage of and access to diverse types of content that is gathered, processed and verified, based on a distributed, scalable, and integrated storage, indexing and retrieval platform and a web-based interactive user-interface for content visualization and discovery (4th objective); e) developed a complete video verification technology that encapsulates the entire set of InVID technologies for content acquisition, analysis, verification and rights management technologies, and was validated by external users to secure a usability that meets the needs of the verification community, and a lightweigt browser plugin that integrates a subset of the InVID verification tools and allows journalists to speed up the verification process by automating repetitive or cumbersome tasks of this pipeline (5th objective); f) maintained and further extended the established links with the verification community via a multitude of dissemination and networking activities, while keeping the exploitation strategy of the project very much focused on constantly re-assessing the market environment and on solving ""real life"" issues for journalists dealing with social media video content, aiming to ensure that the developed InVID tools and services will attain significant and marketable added value (6th objective). The work carried out in this action resulted in 4 integrated technologies: a) the InVID Verification Plugin, a freely-available browser extension with more than 9.800 users worldwide, that helps journalists in their fact-checking and debunking tasks, b) the InVID Multimodal Analytics Dashboard, an integrated web-based solution for newsworthy video collection and discovery, c) the InVID Verification Application, a complete web-based tool for advanced video verification, and d) the InVID Mobile App that allows the quick provision of trusted and newsworthy content for the coverage of a breaking news story."
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
The integrated InVID applications are new services for the management and verification of UGV, exploiting in full the convergence of broadband, broadcast and social media. These services are innovative and address the needs of the EU market, and the close collaboration with journalists during the design and development of these technologies led in novel tools with a potentially significant impact for broadcasters, news agencies and traditional news providers. Our tools already show promise in allowing professionals to verify more items in the same time window, compared to the current situation, and include more verified video in their reporting, which can also increase the revenue opportunities both for the commercial media organizations and for UGV owners. Furthermore, the integrated Rights Management technologies provide to the journalists the means for fast and efficient rights clearance, enable faster identification of creators and support the usage negotiation process, which widens the use of UGV for the offers of content providers. The project is expected to have a strong economic impact on media organizations by: (a) improving productivity through the dramatic reduction of time needed for video verification, (b) increasing the integration of user-generated content for user engagement, interaction and dialogue in order to raise loyalty to news brands through community building aspects, (c) avoiding the spread of hoaxes and propaganda which would harm news providers’ reputation and trust and possibly endanger their business model, (d) regaining control of the verification process by journalists instead of delegating it to more advanced users of social networks; this avoids costly legal procedures for unauthorized use of third party content (e.g. individual users download and republish materials as their own on reputable media channels), and (e) establishing or reinforcing novel job positions in media organizations and journalism, such as content and social media curators, or verification experts.