Your answers to In-Class Verification Assignment

When sharing any information with the public, a journalist should seek to:

  1. Verify the information (either to “stand it up” or “knock it down”)
  2. Attribute the source of the information
  3. Inform the audience if the information is false or contradicts other sources of information

In the process of verification, a journalist should:

  1. Never add anything that was not there.
  2. Never deceive the audience.
  3. Be transparent about your methods and motives.
  4. Rely on your own original reporting.
  5. Exercise humility.

Let’s look at how you did…

Hamilton cast changed the lyrics to ‘America the Beautiful’ at Super Bowl performance

1) True. Two major sources, The Independent and the HuffPost, both had articles about adding “and sisterhood” into America The Beautiful.

1) They did change the lyrics, slightly, by adding “sisterhood.” Confirmed by Billboard.

1. Hamilton cast changed the lyrics- true

A lot of well known news sites posted the story

1)We feel confident sharing this information because we watched the broadcast and also we were able to find creditable sources to confirm it.

1. Yes, It was covered by multiple sources and have links to the video to hear the part they changed.

1) A. Yes

    B. Yes, the information is posted across major news stations.


1. Yes, they did change the lyrics, after the “…And brotherhood” they added “…And sisterhood.” There’s video sources here.

1. Yes, they did change the lyrics. It can be verified by watching a clip of them singing it, as well as reputable news organizations writing about it. Link:

1.) Hamilton cast members did change the lyrics to “America the Beautiful”. According to Vanity Fair and NBCSports, they changed the lyrics to “an crown thy good with brotherhood and sisterhood”.

Lady Gaga Super Bowl Half-time Show the “Most Tweeted Event Ever”

2)False. It got the most tweets of any Super Bowl halftime show, and had a stunning amount of tweets, but there aren’t any claims that it set a record for most tweets.

2) USA TODAY confirms that the World Cup in 2014 had 35.6 millions tweets, while Gaga only had 5.1 million in her half time show.

2. Not sure

We googled how many tweets it got- 5.1 million. We googled that the #election2016 had 75 million and the world cup had a ton more as well.

Also, the source it came from only receive a couple hundred retweets and likes which makes me think that the user may not be a well-known source and they are not verified.

2) No, we wouldn’t share this information because it’s only half-true. B. It was tweeted about more than last year’s halftime show but it wasn’t the most tweeted event.

2. No, There is a typo in the tweet and also looks like it is a fan account instead of her.

2) A. No

    B. No, the page isn’t verified, it has spelling errors and it worded the information wrong


2 This is a tough one to verify, this article from Billboard cites there being 5.1 million tweets. That being said it’s difficult to verify if it’s the “Most Tweeted Ever” if every year they use the same hashtag because its the same sponsor with #PepsiHalftime.

2. No, we cannot verify the information. The only source was the Tweet that you used for the exercise, and if you tweet the headline, results to not show up in Google.

2.) This is not true because CBS Detroit reported that a presidential debate from this cycle received 17 million tweets while Lady Gaga only received only 5 million tweets.

Photo of soldiers standing guard during Hurricane Sandy at Tomb of Unknown Solider, Arlington VA

3) False. The picture isn’t from Sandy.

3) Soldiers guard the Tomb during Hurricane Sandy is FALSE.

3. not true

The photo was taken in september and hurricane sandy didn’t happen until october.

3) Yes, when we googled the caption the article from NPR comes up.

3. No. If you do a good reverse search you find out that it is not true. The photo was taken September 18th not during hurricane Sandy.

3) A. Yes

    B. Yes, the information is posted across major news stations


3. Verified to be during Hurricane Sandy

3.No, this is false. Wouldn’t share the information. Many news organizations completed write-ups about how the information was false and not taken during the actual event.

3.) It was not taken during Hurricane Sandy. NPR reported that the photo was taken a month before the storm.

Photo of a giant beach ball rolling down the streets of London during a storm

4) True. The beach ball did blow from its moorings, and several credible news sources ran the same photograph, including The Independent.

4) The beach ball in London is true.

4.) true

Several reliable sources have wrote about this

4)Yes, we reversed search the image but nothing came up so we searched the title and the Guardian came up which is a creditable source.

4. Yes, with a google reverse search the image came up with the same slogan saying that it was rolling through London with multiple sites also showing the story.

4) A. Yes

    B. Yes, the information is posted across major news papers, The Guardian


4. Verified to be true

4. This is true, would share the information. Multiple UK sources verified the information, including the Guardian.

4.) According to the guardian, the beach ball going through London actually happened.

Video of shark in streets of New York City during Hurricane Sandy

5) False. No credible news source talked about sharks in NYC streets, only obscure Youtube channels where commenters often called them photoshopped hoaxes. There were, it turns out, a lot of photoshopped hoaxes during Sandy, including ones about sharks in streets.

5) FAKE VIDEO because in the GEO search tool, several other accounts posted it in separate locations. It’s not original to any of the accounts.

5.) false

After using the youtube video search, I found no videos of a shark in nyc. It claims to be taken during hurricane sandy, so I typed in the range of time when hurricane sandy happened and saw what videos people in nyc posted during that time, and it was not exploding with shark videos unfortunately.

5. No. There are no actual credible news sources that have the video. Also with a geo search no video was uploaded on that date in New York.

5) No, the source doesn’t seem creditable. The tag for is from Boston and is a sports page.

5) A. No

    B. No, the information was posted on and labelled as false


5. Unverifiable, doesn’t show up through geosearch when it was uploaded. Save it for the next Sharknado. Multiple sites spent debunking fake images from Sandy.

5. The video was circulated on various video platforms. However, we could not find a major news source which verified there was actually a shark in NYC. We feel this would make pretty big news if it were true.

5.) There is no concrete evidence that the video is real and there are no credible sources that can verify it. The same image/video popped up after hurricane Irene.

Syrian refugees are arriving in New Orleans, LA.

6. Syrian photo. I wouldn’t retweet it due to the man that posted the photo via twitter. Hugely biased, trump supporter, shares his very one-sided views. Don’t trust the guy.

6. 6) FAKE look at the guy’s bio on Twitter. #MAGA is clearly biased. also look at his pinned tweet. Also same image is posted in another location. Description says Budapest railway.

6)No, because we looked up the headline on slopes and they confirmed it was false.

6. No, on the profile of the person it says he is conservative cleverly disguised as an adult which raises questions about him being biased.

6) A. No

    B. No, because the person tweeting the information is a Trump fan and biased and labelled it as false.


6. The picture isn’t from New Orleans, it’s actually from a train station in Budapest. Found it at,_Hungary,_Central_Europe,_5_September_2015.jpg

6.This is not true. Snipes verified it was false. Kelly, who tweeted it, is a conservative Tweeter and isn’t verified. It’s unclear where he got this information.

6.) This tweet/photo is not true. The photo is from Vice and was apparently taken in Iraq.

PA approves use of semi-automatic weapons for hunting

7) It’s true, the reporter is verifiable and on Twitter, with emails an phone numbers. The publication is legit as well.

7) True – came from reliable source.

7) Yes, it was posted but a creditable source. We checked their Facebook and their about us section on their website.

7. No a twitter search did not add any other tweets with that information and also the account only links to Facebook and not a website for their news.

7) A. Yes

    B. Yes, because multiple local news stations such as Pensive, Leighighvalleylive and CBS Pittsburgh are reporting it as true.


7. Verified, preliminary approval of the regulations, but true nonetheless.

7. This is true, however it is preliminary approval. Would not circulate that particular tweet explicitly.

7.) According to the Altoona Mirror, there was a preliminary approval on semi-automatic weapons but it hasn’t been officially approved yet.

Congress voted to ease restrictions on gun ownership for people with mental illness

8) True:

8. Not so sure.

At first, I don’t want to trust it because the girl who tweeted it was named “stop Trump” and then when i searched the tweet on tweekdeck, the other person who tweeted it was called “Nickles Pickles”.

But then the link they provide appears to be reliable.

8) Yes, we checked USAToday and they also have an article on it.

8) A. No

    B. No, the person posting the tweet is getting his/her information from a website that isn’t main stream, it doesn’t look trustworthy.

    C. The information is true, on the following website

8. House Republicans voted to repeal an Obama-era gun law, but the tweet itself spins it in a very conservative manner.

8. The news story you shared it kind of true. The Tweet makes it seems “Here you go, mentally ill people, here are some guns.” While Congress did pass legislation similar to this, we would not share this particular tweet.

8.) Yes it’s true and it was verified by Politico, NPR and USA Today.

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