This #No2h8November 2021, we have put together some tips, advice, and tricks for reporting racism, hate, and abuse across the major social media platforms and resources to consider when looking at counter online disinformation.
Last year, we put together a series of infographics about improving personal safety on Twitter – with advice about filtering harmful Direct Messages, flagging harmful, racist or dehumanising images, bio details (including avatars, usernames, and biographical text), how aggressive retweeting constitutes spam. Other examples include reporting images where no text appears in the tweet (merely select the option “It displays a sensitive image or video’ and flag as ‘adult, violent, hateful”). Twitter also has a more comprehensive reporting form than the streamlined option provided in-app or web platform.
Across major social media platforms, we are working as a trusted flagger to help remove anti-Muslim and Islamophobic content.
If you face or witness such content. Speak to us in confidence. pic.twitter.com/T87DeEtO2P
— Tell MAMA UK (@TellMamaUK) May 28, 2021
TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat (a handy guide for reporting stories is here) have their reporting forms, but as a trusted flagger, Tell MAMA benefits from prioritised reporting status, so we encourage the public to report content when platforms fail to remove content.
Remember: critical thinking is crucial. We intend this guide to be introductory, not exhaustive in detail, but we hope it can be developed further in the future.
As First Draft note in their “Five Pillars of verification” always consider PROVENANCE (the originality of content), SOURCE (who created the content), DATE (when did it appear online), LOCATION (Where was the account or website created), and MOTIVATION (why was the account or website created).
Bellingcat, First Draft, and Craig Silverman’s Verification Handbook provide far more comprehensive guides and resources available in various languages.
And this free guide gives some introductory advice about geo-specific tweet searching and image reverse searching methods.
Reverse image searching
Tell MAMA continues to document how we debunk anti-Muslim and Islamophobic falsehoods, more so during the Covid-19 pandemic. From screengrabs of viral videos to images that appear across major social media platforms, using platforms like Bing, Google Images, Yandex, and TinEye, we can see that sometimes all is not what it seems. In addition, there are helpful guides about the drawbacks to the platforms when identifying faces, altered content, or locations, notably from DomanTools published in 2019. Finally, for ease, on Firefox and Google Chrome, the free add-on extension RevEye streamlines the image reverse search process. Other websites to consider to help identify content when reverse image searching is removing backgrounds (especially when dealing with faces). Sites like remove.bg are free to use. Sensity offers a web-based tool for detecting deepfakes and GAN-generated faces.
Double-checking URL links and short links
Securi provides tools to scan URL links for malicious content like malware and its overall security with a simple click.
To double-check the veracity of any popular shortened URL link, URL Unshortener provides a screenshot preview of the link. The French-based cyber security firm CRDF Labs provides ways to test URLs also.
Visual Ping allows you to see how websites change over time.
Checking metadata for images and PDFs
Free tools to check the metadata of images includes Jeffrey’s Image Metadata Viewer and Forensically. And for PDF files, there are websites like Metadata2go.
Join the discussion with the hashtags #No2h8 and #No2h8November. The month is about challenging racism, hate, bigotry in all its forms, and how we can work together collectively to be upstanders and not bystanders, especially in the online world and how we carry on these acts of solidarity in the offline world.