Wrestling with audience content

We see people starting to talk about this subject. Today, reading about the tragedy in Ottawa, is a good reminder that it is a conversation worth having.

There are plenty of great points here. User Generated Content: time to consider the ethical conundrums as well as the opportunities:

Steve Herrmann says verification is the main challenge when dealing with user-generated content.

“The biggest challenge of all is establishing something is true and retaining peoples’ trust at a time when information is moving so fast it can be very, very hard to check.”

He says that although the speed of the news cycle makes verification difficult, newsrooms need to make sure it’s correct before publishing or broadcasting.

“Or at least if you’re not quite sure, you need to be very clear [about that]”

However, Claire Wardle says the phrase ‘we cannot independently verify this’ is doing a disservice to the audience.

“Until we sort that out, we’ll have content being run too quickly with these caveats, and this isn’t transparent,” she says, indicating that there needs to be more transparency when dealing with UGC.


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