BBC News has introduced a transformative feature known as ‘content credentials’, a milestone in combating disinformation and fake news. This functionality enables users to trace the origin of an image or video and understand the verification processes it has undergone.

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Key Features of ‘Content Credentials’:

  • Users will notice a “how we verified this” button beneath images and videos on BBC Verify content.
  • Clicking this button reveals the steps BBC journalists take to authenticate images and videos, including:
    • Cross-referencing with other sources
    • Examining metadata like time or date
    • Comparing locations and verifying weather conditions
    • Ensuring shadow accuracy
    • Searching for other instances online to avoid miscontextualization

This initiative is a testament to the dedication of BBC News teams to uphold transparency and integrity.

Deborah Turness, CEO of BBC News, highlights the importance of transparency: “At BBC News we know that trust is earned. This transparency is more crucial than ever in a world of deep fakes, disinformation, and distortion.”

Innovative Technical Standard:

  • A new technical standard for ‘Content Credentials’ encodes the origins of media, detailing any edits made. This acts as an audit trail and accompanies the content universally.
  • Developed by the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), co-founded by BBC R&D, Adobe, Microsoft, and recently joined by Google, Facebook, and OpenAI.

Future Plans:

  • Initially, ‘content credentials’ will be accessible for BBC Verify team’s content on the BBC News site and app.
  • The BBC aims to extend collaboration with external publishers and social media networks for broader implementation of ‘content credentials’.