Videos are everywhere on social media, but quite a few that we view on various sites are doctored and edited, often seeking to muck up the facts. Understanding how to evaluate and identify red flags in a video is now a critical 21st Century media literacy skill that everyone — parents, students, and educators — needs to acquire.
Recently the staff at Washington Post Fact Checker created a useful teaching and learning tool that can help all of us — young people and adults — understand more about today’s video landscape.
Seeing Isn’t Believing, the title of this guide to manipulated video, says it all. In today’s always- connected world, with people able to create and publish just about anything they want, we cannot always believe what we see in a video. Instead it’s necessary to take the time to evaluate — considering how the video is made, thinking about the purpose it serves, and looking closely to see if it has been doctored in some way.
The creators of the Guide to Manipulated Video set out to understand more about how people go about altering videos. The aim of the project was to “… develop a universal language to label manipulated video and hold creators and sharers of this misinformation accountable.”
The guide identifies three ways that people manipulate video media:
- Missing context
- Deceptive editing
- Malicious transformation
Each of these three categories is described, with examples, and each is broken into sub-categories that further explain how videos can be altered. For instance, deceptive editing is broken down into splicing and omission. The videos in this guide do not have sound because the focus is on visual video alteration and misinformation, so don’t be surprised when you don’t hear anything while perusing the examples.
Share this Guide to Manipulated Video and encourage parents, students, and teachers to understand that what they see is not always what they should believe.