With the vast amount of information online including AI-generated text, it’s now more important than ever to check the content before you publish it. Quality content verification is a must – but how do you get started? How do you actually “check the content?” Let’s take a closer look at the process, why it matters, and how to do it, step-by-step.
What is Content Verification?
As the volume of content online grows, so does the importance of checking it for authenticity, originality and veracity. Content verification has become a must-have in the toolkit of writers, editors, publishers and website content specialists to ensure that the information they’re sharing is not just accurate but also high-quality and reputable.
With that in mind, content verification is the process of actually confirming the authenticity of the content before it’s published or shared. Although it’s often used when talking about fact-checking articles, it can also mean validating the sources of a story or making sure that a video or image hasn’t been doctored or selectively edited.
Why Does Content Verification Matter?
There are several reasons why content verification is important, most notably:
It Protects Your Reputation
Incorrect or misleading reports can damage the reputation of everyone from companies to publishers to individuals. By thoroughly verifying content, you help to build credibility and trust and establish rapport with your audience as a reliable source.
It Fights Against Fake News
Content verification is a vital weapon in the fight against deep fakes and other fake news that can be rapidly created and spread across social networks and other platforms.
It Helps Ensure Accuracy
Content verification helps ensure that information that is published and shared is accurate, a crucial point for content in areas including scientific research, education, healthcare and journalism.
What are Some of the Challenges in Content Verification?
Although content verification tools bring nothing but benefits to each piece you publish, verifying the content itself isn’t without its challenges, including:
The Sheer Volume of Content to Be Checked
There’s a lot of content out there and more being produced every day. It can be a challenge to verify things thoroughly to the extent that they need to be checked.
The Proliferation of Deepfakes and Manipulations
Just as new advances in technology have made it easier than ever for writers, editors, publishers and journalists to verify the accuracy of their content, new advances in technology have also made it easier to convincingly doctor or manipulate an image, video, audio and more, making it harder to distinguish between what’s real and what’s fake.
Speed versus Accuracy of Content Verification Tools
Sometimes in the race to be first, speed can take a backseat to accuracy. This is particularly true in journalism. Balancing the need for speed with the importance of accuracy is an ongoing challenge that breaking news publishers need to keep in mind when it comes to verifying content.
What Happens if You Don’t Check the Content?
With the need to always stay one step ahead of what technology is capable of and the speed at which misinformation spreads, it can feel overwhelming. But in this day and age, content verification is a vital step in helping to keep social media, video and the web itself an attractive place to communicate, work and play.
Not taking time to check the content (especially over a longer period of time) can erode people’s trust in not just the content itself and the publisher, but the digital platforms themselves. This phenomenon is known as “information fatigue” and we saw it on display front and center during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Conflicting information about vaccines and treatments, misinformation, questionable sources and much more lead to skepticism among users, even causing skepticism toward fact-checkers themselves. And this isn’t just an isolated incident. It can happen at any time with any kind of content. Done consistently over time, this kind of skepticism leads to greater stress and anxiety and can influence user behavior and even sabotage their ability to make informed decisions.
For this reason, it’s vital for content creators and digital platforms alike to work together to combat misinformation and disinformation while taking the time to check the content with the right kind of content verification tools.
How Do You Ensure Quality through Content Verification?
In order to check the content and verify its quality, you’ll want to take a few concrete steps:
Create a Process
The first step in verifying content has nothing to do with the actual content verification at all, rather it involves the creation of a systematic, clear process. Incorporate guidelines or a framework for how you plan to go about sourcing, validating and fact-checking information.
Use Reliable Sources
Prioritize information that comes from credible and reliable sources and cross-reference details from a variety of sources to make sure that information presented is consistently accurate.
Whether your fact-checkers are part of your team, or you choose to use a platform like Originality.AI’s fact-checking tool, having people and technology on your side that’s designed to check for accuracy is invaluable.
Make Ample Use of Technology
No matter what type of content you’re checking for accuracy, there’s a technology that helps shortcut and streamline your work. From reverse image search to determine the original source of an image to content analysis tools that check a variety of databases for discrepancies, today’s technology coupled with AI can help you save hours of time and effort.
Keep Communication Transparent
If corrections need to be made after a work is published, be transparent with the audience. This helps to build credibility and trust as well as continue to cement your relationship with them as a reliable source.
Invest in Ongoing Training
The landscape of blatantly (and sometimes intentionally) false information and misinformation is always evolving. Keeping a finger on the pulse of how it’s changing by way of training and workshops can help you stay one step ahead of the latest content verification challenges.
Keep an Open Feedback Loop
Encourage your readers to report any inaccuracies in your content. Not only does this help you sidestep mistakes but it also creates a greater sense of community.
Content Verification is Everyone’s Responsibility
It’s worth noting that the responsibility to “check my content” isn’t just on the developers, publishers, writers or content creators themselves. It’s also on the people who consume the content.
That’s why it’s more important than ever that users approach digital content with a critical eye and question its source before accepting it wholeheartedly. It’s also important to report any misinformation, especially on social media where it can proliferate in fractions of a second. By helping these platforms to do their job more effectively, you can contain misinformation before it has real-world consequences.
In addition, sharing and promoting content from trusted, verified sources can help drown out the noise of unverified content and disinformation campaigns, making it easier for everyone to make informed decisions about what they share and consume online.
A Constant Compass of Authenticity
As you can see, being able to check the content isn’t just something that’s “nice to have” when it comes to content verification. It’s necessary and acts as a guiding compass to ensure that the information we consume is accurate, authentic and original. To that end, using tools like Originality.AI’s fact checker along with our robust plagiarism checker and AI detection can go a long way toward ensuring that the digital space remains one of trusted information.
However, at the same time, we as digital consumers also need to make a collective effort to scrutinize the information we’re presented with and ensure that we’re doing our part to verify before we share or spread the news. By working together with the latest technological developments, AI research, machine learning and other breakthroughs, we can greatly shortcut the time needed to “check the content” as we continue to work toward becoming trusted sources for reliable information on every topic out there.