Use the GIF and text below to show someone how to hover to check a source. If you see someone with influence not performing these checks before sharing, reply to them with the GIFs and the text (we’ve even put it in Twitter length chunks!)
Start by taking a screenshot of what you found when you hovered (or clicked through to the profile). We supplied an example below, but replace the first image with your own screenshot.
You can use the other GIFs and text afterwards verbatim if you want, or modify them to make your point. In most cases you might want to choose the most relevant subset. Make sure you right-click and download the GIFs. If you copy and paste them the animation won’t run.
Hey, I noticed you shared a tweet from ____. As you can see from their profile, this source is not really a credible reporting source.
That wouldn’t be a problem if they linked to a better source, but I don’t see a link?
In the future, you can see much of this information on Twitter by simply hovering. This is for another account, but the principle is the same. Just hover and ask “Do I trust this source enough to share w/o additional verification?” (Here, no!)
Verification checkmarks are good, but it matters what the checkmark is for. This person is probably sharing something true, but we’d want to independently verify before sharing, because this is not their area of expertise or reporting. Close, but not quite!
This source, on the other hand, is likely good to go — a reporter from the Sacramento CBS affiliate reporting on the first case in Sacramento in what seems a professional capacity. Share away!
Ask yourself — “Does this look like what I thought it was?” Here, you might think this was a major Swedish newspaper, but hovering you notice there’s no checkmark & a smaller amount of followers than you’d expect for a big paper. It may be fine, but you have to do more checking.
Be careful assessing niche expertise — it’s harder than assessing journalists. This person is verified and a virologist, and might be a great source! But without expertise of our own or a rock-solid affiliation, we’d need to know a lot more to take their word on a complex issue.
Most importantly, just because a source isn’t known to you or trustworthy on its own, it doesn’t mean the story isn’t true! Many substandard sources share real news. It just means you need to do a bit more verification before you share (and maybe share from a better source!)