AP evaluates photos and videos from storm watchers

Oct. 30, 2012
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In this instagram photo provided by Ana Andjelic, Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, is surrounded by floodwaters from Sandy's surge, Monday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Ana Andjelic)
In this instagram photo provided by Ana Andjelic, Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, is surrounded by floodwaters from Sandy's surge, Monday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Ana Andjelic)
AP Social Media Editor Eric Carvin and Fergus Bell, international social media and user-generated content editor, describe efforts this week to locate, authenticate and distribute an array of images submitted by readers and viewers with an eye on the powerful storm Sandy. The content includes an Instagram of a seemingly floating carousel in Brooklyn, right, and video of a New York power station explosion (http://youtu.be/PG5QWMpDDo0):

Since Sunday evening we’ve been scouring hundreds of videos and photos showing the impact of Sandy from Virginia to Maine. As Sandy approached the East Coast, many people ventured outside, or took up positions at their windows, to capture the scene around them and upload their little slices of the storm. We’ve been looking for the best of the best — and getting permission to use it — and we’ve used our social accounts to ask users to submit content, while cautioning them not to put themselves in danger.

Since Monday morning, we’ve seen a deluge of photos and videos depicting dramatic, genuine moments from the storm. But we also saw an extraordinary amount of fabricated content. Even some of the content that was real was shot during previous storms and was being misrepresented as images from Sandy.

The AP applied its user-generated content verification process repeatedly and consistently. We have checked all photos and videos with our expert journalists in relevant part of the country, as well as with experts in the AP’s respective formats. We’ve rooted out the fake and altered images — everything from cinematic storm clouds gathering over the Statue of Liberty to sharks swimming past people’s houses — and brought readers and viewers context for every piece of content that was worthy of the AP name. Everything that we have run has been traced back to the original source, and content owners have been credited if they wanted to be.

Here are other pieces of user-generated content that we have verified during Sandy:

Video clips from the Mid-Atlantic region to New England: http://youtu.be/IwTbzpB4hGQ

West Side Highway under water: http://bit.ly/T2cClg

Members of the public can submit photos and video to AP through the AP Mobile app, which they can learn about here: http://www.apnews.com. They can also upload content at this link: http://apne.ws/fFLzTM. They can share their stories by reaching out to AP through Twitter (http://twitter.com/ap), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/APNews) and Google Plus (http://google.com/+AP).

Follow Bell at http://twitter.com/fergb. Follow Carvin at http://twitter.com/EricCarvin.


Contact:
Paul Colford
Director of AP Media Relations
pcolford@AP.org
212.621.1895





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