Image: Jamie King, Unsplash


  • Fake accounts
  • Verifying images
  • Verifying video
  • More resources

Fake accounts

How to check if a Twitter account is real

Some free tools

Verifying images

  1. ✳️ Google Reverse Image Search
  2. ✳️ Tin Eye
A quick search on TinEye of the image I’ve used in the ‘Welcome’ section of this guide shows it’s from the agency Gratisography
  • Who are they?
  • Where are they?
  • When did they get there?
  • What can they see (and what does their photo show)?
  • Why are they there?

A few other photo resources:

Verifying video

  1. Get in touch with the uploader
  2. Check the upload date. In YouTube, just under the search bar is a button marked “filters”. This allows you to order the results by upload date. The YouTube Data Viewer from Amnesty’s Citizen Evidence Lab can give you the exact time of upload
  3. Check the thumbnail. Do a reverse image search in Tin Eye (as above)
  4. Read the description carefully
  5. Look at the account carefully (What kind of videos does it post? How often? When did it open? Are there any contact details? Are there other social media accounts using the same username?)
  6. See if the video has been shared elsewhere. Take the video’s unique code (the bit after the v= in the url) and paste that into the search bar in Twitter and Facebook
  7. Crosscheck on Google Maps, and zoom in on Street View. is another option.
  8. Look for visual clues like the style of road signs, traffic lights, shadows which give an idea of the time of day, and listen out for clues such as people’s accents
  9. Check the weather when the video is said to have been filmed and see if that matches. You can do that at WolframAlpha
  1. Frame by Frame for YouTube
  2. Video Vault

More resources


Forums and debunking:

Online training:

✳️ More from the Social Media Reporter ✳️

  • How to organise your feeds
  • Locating video, images and sources from a specific location, and the ethics of using eyewitness material
  • How to use social media to track people down and for research
  • How to find out what’s trending and dig to the bottom of trends
  • More resources



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Cordelia Hebblethwaite

Commissioning editor for @bbcideas — short films for curious minds. Via @BBCNewsnight, @JSKStanford, @BBCTrending and more. Wrote