Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


InVID Report Summary

Project ID: 687786
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InVID (In Video Veritas – Verification of Social Media Video Content for the News Industry)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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 is building 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 will enable 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 will ensure 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 will help protecting the news industry from distributing fakes, falsehoods and lost reputation.

In this context, the project's specific objectives are: (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 and driven by the outcomes of the initial industrial requirements analysis, several developments and efforts were made by the members of the consortium. In particular, for addressing the first objective, we developed techniques for: breaking news monitoring based on topic detection; content acquisition and indexing, based on the dynamic querying of social network APIs with terms related to current news events and the definition of an updated media metadata model; and the analysis of video content with methods for the automatic fragmentation of user-generated video (UGV) and the annotation of the identified fragments with the help of human-interpretable tags. For meeting the second objective we built a first toolset of technologies for the verification of video content by means of: forensic analysis; the detection of near-duplicates of videos, and specific logos within the videos that indicate the trustworthiness of the content; location detection by means of textual information analysis; and the development of a context aggregation and analysis module which finds and displays information about the video and the social activity surrounding it. Concerning the third objective, our work focused on the analysis of the current practices regarding UGV reuse in the news industry and the identification of the legal framework and workflow where the project will operate. Based on these findings a first implementation of a module for the rights management of the collected and used content has been developed. Towards the achievement of the fourth objective, we started building the infrastructure that enables the storage of and access to diverse types of content that is gathered, processed and verified. For this, a distributed, scalable, and integrated storage, indexing and retrieval platform for social media content and metadata was implemented. The collected data are visualized using the InVID Multimodal Analytics Dashboard, a first version of which was also developed. For addressing the needs related to the fifth objective, we developed a first version of the InVID Verification Application that encapsulates the InVID content acquisition, analysis, verification and rights management technologies. This application retrieves UGVs from different sources and performs different types of analysis that enable the verification of UGV's trustworthiness by invoking the integrated technologies for the extraction of contextual metadata, the detection of near-duplicates and logos and the determination of rights for use. Finally, the last objective was met in this first year via the establishment of strong links with the verification community through a multitude of dissemination, networking and exploitation activities, including the participation of InVID in the First Draft News partner network, a worldwide alliance of the prominent actors of the News, Web and social media ecosystem.

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.

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