Don't Trust, Do Verify: The Vaping Hoax : Memmos Standards & Practices Editor Mark Memmott writes occasional notes about the issues journalists encounter and the way NPR handles them. They often expand on topics covered in the Ethics Handbook.
NPR logo Don't Trust, Do Verify: The Vaping Hoax

Don't Trust, Do Verify: The Vaping Hoax

Last week's appearance in The New York Times of a "Joe Stevonson," who turned out to be someone pretending to be a young man who enjoys vaping, underscores why it's important to take steps to verify the identities of those who come our way via social media.

Here's a repeat recommendation: Check out the Verification Handbook. Edited by Craig Silverman of the Regret the Error blog, it has tips and tools for verifying "user-generated content."

Also: Don't ignore the obvious things to do, such as a simple Google search of a person's name, a visit to AnyWho.com and a request for assistance from our librarians and the social media team. They can help figure out if a person is for real.