Is Instagram Good For Crowdsourcing For News Outlets?

Instagram LogoCurating by crowdsourcing social media content has increased in popularity the past year, particularly among news organizations.

Twitter, YouTube, flikr, blogs, and Facebook are all common sources for curating.

I crowdource to curate social media content for news about politics and international news events.  The information I search for tend to be in real-time, so twitter, flikr and YouTube are my main sources.  Verification needs to be done since the material is hard-hitting, and factual.The news curating site for news organizations, Storyful, revealed how they verify information, and sources.  It’s something I have referenced back few times, and learned a few things I implemented.

The first thing people think ask when they see information online, particularly in social media, is if it is reliable.  A verification process, similar to what Storyful has put forward, needs to be complete.

One social network that is popular, and appears to be useful is Instagram.

It’s not useful.

Instagram allows you to take a real photo you took with your camera phone, and apply a filter to it.  At the end, it looks like a old fashioned Polaroid photo.

Its filtering system distorts the image, thus not making the image original, and not entirely true.  It’s an item you do not want when curating social media content for a hard- hitting news topic.

It looks cool (which it is), but there’s a time and place for everything.

Not during curation of news stories.

With every rule, there are exceptions, including this.

If you found a lot of photos that look worth sharing, and all of them were on Instrgram, and the story is on the lighter side of things.  A curation of the photos can be done.  It has to be stated, and emphasized the photos are from Instagram.

Curating social media content for news is an evolving part of social media, as more and more people go on social media to share what is going on in front of them.

Since it’s evolving, there will be a few bumps and questions along the way.

Verifying the source is one of them, but what are the sources is something that will change over time.

Because it’s out there does not mean you are required to use it.  In this case, it’s due to accuracy & originality.