What you see is what you get? Automatic Image Verification for Online News Content
Consuming news over online media has witnessed rapid growth in recent years, especially with the increasing popularity of social media. However, the ease and speed with which users can access and share information online facilitated the dissemination of false or unverified information. One way of assessing the credibility of online news stories is by examining the attached images. These images could be fake, manipulated or not belonging to the context of the accompanying news story. Previous attempts to news verification provided the user with a set of related images for manual inspection. In this work, we present a semi-automatic approach to assist news-consumers in instantaneously assessing the credibility of information in hypertext news articles by means of meta-data and feature analysis of images in the articles. In the first phase, we use a hybrid approach including image and text clustering techniques for checking the authenticity of an image. In the second phase, we use a hierarchical feature analysis technique for checking the alteration in an image, where different sets of features, such as edges and SURF, are used. In contrast to recently reported manual news verification, our presented work shows a quantitative measurement on a custom dataset1. Results revealed an accuracy of 72.7% for checking the authenticity of attached images with a dataset of 55 articles. Finding alterations in images resulted in an accuracy of 88% for a dataset of 50 images.