App Helps Weed Out Hoax Photos and Videos

Chris Harvey /

Nonprofit developers have released a prototype app that helps users determine whether photos and videos are real or the work of hoaxsters.

Now, if you happen to see an eagle snatching a baby, you will be able to point more persuasively of your video of the incident.

The app, available for Android, makes the metadata encoded in photos and videos accessible to average users.

Users, including journalists, human rights researchers and others, frequently confront photos and videos that seem too amazing to be true. But are they?

The InformaCam app will help users answer the question. The app is being developed by Witness, a human rights organization, and the Guardian Project with a grand from the Knight News Challenge, which funds digital journalism.

InformaCam turns on a smartphone’s sensors when the user attempts to takes photos or videos and uses the data gathered to create a watermark that indicates the time, location, and other types of metadata.

The developers acknowledge that some clever hoaxsters will be able to outsmart the app. But it will make scams more difficult to perpetrate.

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing 101Almost 60% of businesses use some form of content marketing. Starting December 8, get hands-on content marketing training in our online boot camp! Through an interactive series of webcasts, content and marketing experts will teach you how to create, distribute, and measure the success of your brand's content! Sign-up before November 10 to get $50 OFF with early bird pricing. Register now!