TED日本語 - マーカム・ノーラン: オンライン上で 事実とフィクションを区別する方法


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TED日本語 - マーカム・ノーラン: オンライン上で 事実とフィクションを区別する方法

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オンライン上で 事実とフィクションを区別する方法

How to separate fact and fiction online


Markham Nolan






I've been a journalist now since I was about 17, and it's an interesting industry to be in at the moment, because as you all know, there's a huge amount of upheaval going on in media, and most of you probably know this from the business angle, which is that the business model is pretty screwed, and as my grandfather would say, the profits have all been gobbled up by Google.

So it's a really interesting time to be a journalist, but the upheaval that I'm interested in is not on the output side. It's on the input side. It's concern with how we get information and how we gather the news. And that's changed, because we've had a huge shift in the balance of power from the news organizations to the audience. And the audience for such a long time was in a position where they didn't have any way of affecting news or making any change. They couldn't really connect. And that's changed irrevocably.

My first connection with the news media was in 1984, the BBC had a one-day strike. I wasn't happy. I was angry. I couldn't see my cartoons. So I wrote a letter. And it's a very effective way of ending your hate mail: "Love Markham, Aged 4." Still works. I'm not sure if I had any impact on the one-day strike, but what I do know is that it took them three weeks to get back to me. And that was the round journey. It took that long for anyone to have any impact and get some feedback. And that's changed now because, as journalists, we interact in real time. We're not in a position where the audience is reacting to news. We're reacting to the audience, and we're actually relying on them. They're helping us find the news. They're helping us figure out what is the best angle to take and what is the stuff that they want to hear. So it's a real-time thing. It's much quicker. It's happening on a constant basis, and the journalist is always playing catch up.

To give an example of how we rely on the audience, on the 5th of September in Costa Rica, an earthquake hit. It was a 7.6 magnitude. It was fairly big. And 60 seconds is the amount of time it took for it to travel 250 kilometers to Managua. So the ground shook in Managua 60 seconds after it hit the epicenter. Thirty seconds later, the first message went onto Twitter, and this was someone saying "temblor," which means earthquake. So 60 seconds was how long it took for the physical earthquake to travel. Thirty seconds later news of that earthquake had traveled all around the world, instantly. Everyone in the world, hypothetically, had the potential to know that an earthquake was happening in Managua. And that happened because this one person had a documentary instinct, which was to post a status update, which is what we all do now, so if something happens, we put our status update, or we post a photo, we post a video, and it all goes up into the cloud in a constant stream.

And what that means is just constant, huge volumes of data going up. It's actually staggering. When you look at the numbers, every minute there are 72 more hours of video on YouTube. So that's, every second, more than an hour of video gets uploaded. And in photos, Instagram,58 photos are uploaded to Instagram a second. More than three and a half thousand photos go up onto Facebook. So by the time I'm finished talking here, there'll be 864 more hours of video on Youtube than there were when I started, and two and a half million more photos on Facebook and Instagram than when I started.

So it's an interesting position to be in as a journalist, because we should have access to everything. Any event that happens anywhere in the world, I should be able to know about it pretty much instantaneously, as it happens, for free. And that goes for every single person in this room.

The only problem is, when you have that much information, you have to find the good stuff, and that can be incredibly difficult when you're dealing with those volumes. And nowhere was this brought home more than during Hurricane Sandy. So what you had in Hurricane Sandy was a superstorm, the likes of which we hadn't seen for a long time, hitting the iPhone capital of the universe -- (Laughter) -- and you got volumes of media like we'd never seen before. And that meant that journalists had to deal with fakes, so we had to deal with old photos that were being reposted. We had to deal with composite images that were merging photos from previous storms. We had to deal with images from films like "The Day After Tomorrow." (Laughter) And we had to deal with images that were so realistic it was nearly difficult to tell if they were real at all. (Laughter)

But joking aside, there were images like this one from Instagram which was subjected to a grilling by journalists. They weren't really sure. It was filtered in Instagram. The lighting was questioned. Everything was questioned about it. And it turned out to be true. It was from Avenue C in downtown Manhattan, which was flooded. And the reason that they could tell that it was real was because they could get to the source, and in this case, these guys were New York food bloggers. They were well respected. They were known. So this one wasn't a debunk, it was actually something that they could prove. And that was the job of the journalist. It was filtering all this stuff. And you were, instead of going and finding the information and bringing it back to the reader, you were holding back the stuff that was potentially damaging.

And finding the source becomes more and more important -- finding the good source -- and Twitter is where most journalists now go. It's like the de facto real-time newswire, if you know how to use it, because there is so much on Twitter.

And a good example of how useful it can be but also how difficult was the Egyptian revolution in 2011. As a non-Arabic speaker, as someone who was looking from the outside, from Dublin, Twitter lists, and lists of good sources, people we could establish were credible, were really important. And how do you build a list like that from scratch? Well, it can be quite difficult, but you have to know what to look for. This visualization was done by an Italian academic. He's called Andre Pannison, and he basically took the Twitter conversation in Tahrir Square on the day that Hosni Mubarak would eventually resign, and the dots you can see are retweets, so when someone retweets a message, a connection is made between two dots, and the more times that message is retweeted by other people, the more you get to see these nodes, these connections being made. And it's an amazing way of visualizing the conversation, but what you get is hints at who is more interesting and who is worth investigating. And as the conversation grew and grew, it became more and more lively, and eventually you were left with this huge, big, rhythmic pointer of this conversation. You could find the nodes, though, and then you went, and you go, "Right, I've got to investigate these people. These are the ones that are obviously making sense. Let's see who they are."

Now in the deluge of information, this is where the real-time web gets really interesting for a journalist like myself, because we have more tools than ever to do that kind of investigation. And when you start digging into the sources, you can go further and further than you ever could before.

Sometimes you come across a piece of content that is so compelling, you want to use it, you're dying to use it, but you're not 100 percent sure if you can because you don't know if the source is credible. You don't know if it's a scrape. You don't know if it's a re-upload. And you have to do that investigative work. And this video, which I'm going to let run through, was one we discovered a couple of weeks ago.

Video: Getting real windy in just a second.

(Rain and wind sounds)

(Explosion) Oh, shit!

Markham Nolan: Okay, so now if you're a news producer, this is something you'd love to run with, because obviously, this is gold. You know? This is a fantastic reaction from someone, very genuine video that they've shot in their back garden. But how do you find if this person, if it's true, if it's faked, or if it's something that's old and that's been reposted?

So we set about going to work on this video, and the only thing that we had to go on was the username on the YouTube account. There was only one video posted to that account, and the username was Rita Krill. And we didn't know if Rita existed or if it was a fake name. But we started looking, and we used free Internet tools to do so. The first one was called Spokeo, which allowed us to look for Rita Krills. So we looked all over the U.S. We found them in New York, we found them in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Florida. So we went and we looked for a second free Internet tool called Wolfram Alpha, and we checked the weather reports for the day in which this video had been uploaded, and when we went through all those various cities, we found that in Florida, there were thunderstorms and rain on the day. So we went to the white pages, and we found, we looked through the Rita Krills in the phonebook, and we looked through a couple of different addresses, and that took us to Google Maps, where we found a house. And we found a house with a swimming pool that looked remarkably like Rita's. So we went back to the video, and we had to look for clues that we could cross-reference. So if you look in the video, there's the big umbrella, there's a white lilo in the pool, there are some unusually rounded edges in the swimming pool, and there's two trees in the background. And we went back to Google Maps, and we looked a little bit closer, and sure enough, there's the white lilo, there are the two trees, there's the umbrella. It's actually folded in this photo. Little bit of trickery. And there are the rounded edges on the swimming pool. So we were able to call Rita, clear the video, make sure that it had been shot, and then our clients were delighted because they were able to run it without being worried.

Sometimes the search for truth, though, is a little bit less flippant, and it has much greater consequences. Syria has been really interesting for us, because obviously a lot of the time you're trying to debunk stuff that can be potentially war crime evidence, so this is where YouTube actually becomes the most important repository of information about what's going on in the world.

So this video, I'm not going to show you the whole thing, because it's quite gruesome, but you'll hear some of the sounds. This is from Hama. Video: (Shouting) And what this video shows, when you watch the whole thing through, is bloody bodies being taken out of a pickup truck and thrown off a bridge. The allegations were that these guys were Muslim Brotherhood and they were throwing Syrian Army officers' bodies off the bridge, and they were cursing and using blasphemous language, and there were lots of counterclaims about who they were, and whether or not they were what the video said it was.

So we talked to some sources in Hama who we had been back and forth with on Twitter, and we asked them about this, and the bridge was interesting to us because it was something we could identify. Three different sources said three different things about the bridge. They said,one, the bridge doesn't exist. Another one said the bridge does exist, but it's not in Hama. It's somewhere else. And the third one said, "I think the bridge does exist, but the dam upstream of the bridge was closed, so the river should actually have been dry, so this doesn't make sense." So that was the only one that gave us a clue. We looked through the video for other clues. We saw the distinctive railings, which we could use. We looked at the curbs. The curbs were throwing shadows south, so we could tell the bridge was running east-west across the river. It had black-and-white curbs. As we looked at the river itself, you could see there's a concrete stone on the west side. There's a cloud of blood. That's blood in the river. So the river is flowing south to north. That's what that tells me. And also, as you look away from the bridge, there's a divot on the left-hand side of the bank, and the river narrows.

So onto Google Maps we go, and we start looking through literally every single bridge. We go to the dam that we talked about, we start just literally going through every time that road crosses the river, crossing off the bridges that don't match. We're looking for one that crosses east-west. And we get to Hama. We get all the way from the dam to Hama and there's no bridge. So we go a bit further. We switch to the satellite view, and we find another bridge, and everything starts to line up. The bridge looks like it's crossing the river east to west. So this could be our bridge. And we zoom right in. We start to see that it's got a median, so it's a two-lane bridge. And it's got the black-and-white curbs that we saw in the video, and as we click through it, you can see someone's uploaded photos to go with the map, which is very handy, so we click into the photos. And the photos start showing us more detail that we can cross-reference with the video. The first thing that we see is we see black-and-white curbing, which is handy because we've seen that before. We see the distinctive railing that we saw the guys throwing the bodies over. And we keep going through it until we're certain that this is our bridge.

So what does that tell me? I've got to go back now to my three sources and look at what they told me: the one who said the bridge didn't exist, the one who said the bridge wasn't in Hama, and the one guy who said, "Yes, the bridge does exist, but I'm not sure about the water levels." Number three is looking like the most truthful all of a sudden, and we've been able to find that out using some free Internet tools sitting in a cubicle in an office in Dublin in the space of 20 minutes. And that's part of the joy of this. Although the web is running like a torrent, there's so much information there that it's incredibly hard to sift and getting harder every day, if you use them intelligently, you can find out incredible information. Given a couple of clues, I could probably find out a lot of things about most of you in the audience that you might not like me finding out.

But what it tells me is that, at a time when there's more -- there's a greater abundance of information than there ever has been, it's harder to filter, we have greater tools. We have free Internet tools that allow us, help us do this kind of investigation. We have algorithms that are smarter than ever before, and computers that are quicker than ever before.

But here's the thing. Algorithms are rules. They're binary. They're yes or no, they're black or white. Truth is never binary. Truth is a value. Truth is emotional, it's fluid, and above all, it's human. No matter how quick we get with computers, no matter how much information we have, you'll never be able to remove the human from the truth-seeking exercise, because in the end, it is a uniquely human trait. Thanks very much. (Applause)

17才の頃からジャーナリストをしていますが この業界は今 とても面白いです ご存じの通り メディア業界では ものすごい変化が起きているからです ただ ほとんどの人はビジネスモデルの崩壊や Googleの一人勝ちといった 観点から変化を捉えています

ジャーナリストとして本当に面白いですが 私が興味あるのは記事自体の変化ではありません 書く前の段階の変化つまり情報入手や ― 取材方法に関心があります 力関係は新聞社から読者へと 大きくシフトし 取材が様変わりしたからです 読み手はこれまで ニュースに 影響も変化も与えられませんでした 接点がなかったのです でも状況は変わりました

私が初めてメディアに関心をもったのは 1984年 BBCがストを実施したときです マンガまで休みになり怒っていたのです だから手紙を書きました 嫌がらせの手紙に最高の結びは こうです 「愛を込めて マーカム 4才」これは今でも通用します ストに与えたインパクトは不明です ただ わかったのは返事に3週間もかかったこと 行動を起こして 結果を知りたくても そんなに時間がかかったのです それもすっかり変わりました 誰もが瞬時にやり取りします 読者が記事に反応した時代は終わり 今ではジャーナリストが読者に頼っているのです 読者がニュースを探してくれます 取材の切り口も 皆が知りたい事も読者が教えてくれます 全部リアルタイムであっという間です いつもこんな状態で追いつくのに必死です

どのくらい読者に頼っているか ― 9月5日 コスタリカの地震を例に 見てみましょう M7.6の大地震でした 地震が起きて60秒後 ― 250km先のマナグアが揺れました マナグアが揺れるまでに60秒かかっているのです その30秒後第一報がツイートされます "temblor" 地震というつぶやきでした 地震が到達するのに 60秒かかりました その30秒後には 地震のニュースが 瞬時に世界中を駆け巡ります 世界中の誰もが マナグアの地震を 知り得たのです きっかけは最初の1人が 状況を伝えたいと思い投稿したことです いまは誰もが投稿します 最新情報や写真やビデオは 絶え間なくクラウドに流れ込んでいきます

常に膨大なデータが アップロードされています データによれば YouTubeでは毎分72時間以上のビデオが投稿されます 1秒間に1時間分を超える投稿があるのです Instagramでは1秒に58枚の写真 ― Facebookでは 3,500枚以上の写真が投稿されます だから 私がこの話を終える頃には YouTubeには864時間分のビデオ ― FacebookとInstagramには250万枚の写真が投稿されています

あらゆる情報が入手可能な立場は ジャーナリストにとって面白い状況です 世界中の出来事を ほぼ同時に しかもタダで知ることができます この状況は 誰にとっても同じです

ただ問題があって 情報が大量になると 価値があるものを見つけるのが 難しくなります これを痛切に感じたのが ハリケーン・サンディのときです 長らく経験していなかった巨大ハリケーンが iPhoneの総本山を襲ったのです(笑) さらに多種多様なメディアをみんなが持っています だからニセモノや 再投稿された古い写真 ― 過去の写真を使った合成写真を ジャーナリストは見分ける必要があります 映画『デイ・アフター・トゥモロー』の写真まで混じっています (笑) 中には リアルすぎて 本物かどうかわからないものも (笑)

冗談はさておきInstagramからの この写真では 徹底した検証が必要でした Instagramでフィルタがかけられています 光の当たり方が疑わしく見えました でも これは本物でした 水没したマンハッタン アベニューCです 本物と判明したのは 情報源が特定できたからです NYのフード・ブロガーで よく知られ 尊敬されていました この場合は本物だと証明できました これがジャーナリストの仕事情報の確認です 外に出て情報を集め それを読者に見せる代わりに 問題になりそうな情報を止めます

信頼できる情報源の発見が重要になるため ジャーナリストはTwitterを頻繁に利用します 大量の情報が集まるので使い方がわかれば まるで記事配信サービスのように利用できます

役に立つ反面難しい面もあることが 2011年のエジプト革命でわかりました アラビア語が話せず エジプトではなく ダブリンにいる私にとっては Twitterリストや 質の高い情報源のリストや信頼できる人が 重要でした そんなリストを 一から作るにはどうしたらよいか? 何を探すべきか知らないととても大変です これはイタリアの学者アンドレ・パニソンが タハリール広場でのTwitter上のやり取りを 視覚化したものです ムバラク大統領が辞任した その日です 点はリツイートで 誰かがメッセージを リツイートすると2点がつながります 回数が多い程 ― つながりが増えていきます すごい方法で会話を視覚化しています ただ ここから得られるのは誰に関心をもち 誰を調べるべきかを知る手がかりだけです 会話が展開するとどんどん活発になり 最終的に 会話は 巨大な リズムを刻む点の塊になります つながりを見て こう思うかも 「彼らについて調べよう 何か知ってるかもしれない どんな人間か 調べてみよう」

私たちジャーナリストは情報があふれる今 ― ウェブの同時性にとても興味を覚えます この種の調査に使えるツールが 今はたくさんあるからです 以前よりも とても詳しく 情報源を調べることができます

よさそうなネタを見つけたと思っても 本当に使えるかどうか ― 確信がもてない場合があります 信頼できる情報源か ― 合成か 再投稿かわからないからです 調べる必要があります ご覧頂いているビデオは 2週間前に見つけました

ビデオ 「風が強くなってきたわ」



プロデューサーなら放送したくなるはずです すごい掘り出し物ですから 生々しい反応です 裏庭で撮影されました でも 本物か ニセモノか 古いものか 再投稿かを知る方法は?

ビデオを調べて わかったのは YouTubeのユーザー名だけでした このアカウントの投稿は 1件だけ ユーザー名は "Rita Krill" 本名か 偽名かはわかりません そこで ネット上の無料ツールで調べ始めました まずSpokeoで名前を探しました 全米を調べ NY ペンシルベニア ― ネバダ フロリダで この名を見つけました 次にWolfram Alphaを使って ビデオが投稿された日の 気象情報をチェックしました 名前が挙がった場所の内 ― その日 フロリダが雷雨でした だからWhitePagesの 電話帳でRita Krillをいくつか見つけ 住所を洗ったところ ― Google Mapsで 家を見つけました ビデオと よく似た ― プールがある家です再びビデオを見て ヒントを探しました ビデオをよく見ると大きなパラソルと 白いエアマットがあり プールの角は曲線を描いています 背景には木が2本 Google Mapsに戻り よく見ると エアマットも 2本の木も パラソルもあります 写真では閉じています 少し工夫するとプールの角が丸いこともわかります 調査をもとにリタに電話をかけ 自分で撮ったものだと確認しました クライアントは安心して放映できました

一方 真実を知ることが 重大な結果をともなう場合があります 私達がシリアに注目するのは 戦争犯罪の証拠となりうる情報の 真偽を判断することが当然 多くなるからです この場合 YouTubeが 世界情勢を知るために重要な情報源です

このビデオは かなり残酷なので 音声の一部を お聞きください 出所はシリアのハマーです (叫び声) 映像は血だらけの死体が ピックアップトラックから降ろされて 橋から投げ落とされる場面です ムスリム同胞団のメンバーが シリア軍兵士の死体を捨てる所とされています でも男達は 呪いや冒涜の言葉を言っており 本当は何者なのか ビデオの説明通りなのかは意見が分かれます

そこでTwitterでやり取りしていた ― ハマーにいる人達にこの件を尋ねました 注目したのは橋です特定できるかも知れません 3つの情報源の証言はバラバラでした ある協力者は「橋はない」 別の協力者は「橋はあるがハマーではない」 3人目は「橋はあると思う でも上流のダムが閉鎖しており 川に水がないはずで映像と一致しない」 最後の証言がヒントになりました 手がかりを探して ビデオを見ると 特徴のある手すりに気づきました 歩道上の影が 南へ伸びているので 橋は東西方向にかかっています 歩道は白と黒に塗られています 川面を見ると 西側にコンクリート護岸血の流れが見えます つまり川が南から北へ 流れているのです 橋から向こうを見ると 土手に削られた部分があり 川幅が狭まっています

次にGoogle Mapsで 橋を全部見ていきました 先ほどのダムから下流に向かって 橋がある場所を すべて確認し 該当しないものを外しました 探すのは東西にかかる橋です でもダムからハマーまで見ましたが 橋がありません でも航空写真に切り替えると 橋がひとつあったのです証拠がまとまり始めます この橋は東西にかかっているようです この橋でしょうかズームしてみましょう 橋の中央に線があり2車線だとわかります 白と黒に塗られた歩道もあります さらにクリックすると アップロードされた写真がマップ上に現れます 写真をクリックすると 細部を見て ビデオと照合できます 最初に気づくのは白と黒の縁石です 手がかりになりそうです 特徴のある手すりも見えますここから男達が 死体を投げ捨てていました これが探していた橋だと確信するまで検証を続けました

ここから何がわかるでしょう? 思い出してほしいのは3人の情報 ― 「橋がない」という情報と 「ハマーではない」という情報 ― そして「橋はあるが水位がおかしい」という情報です 3人目の情報が急に信頼できるものに見えて来ました 私達はそれを無料ツールで確認する事ができました ダブリンのオフィスにいながら たった20分で です これが作業の醍醐味です ネット上には大量の情報が行き交っているので 選別はとても大変ですし日々 難しくなります でも情報を適切に使えば素晴らしい情報が手に入ります 手がかりさえあれば 皆さんが知られたくない情報だって探り出せるでしょう

今は これまでにない程 ― 大量の情報があり選別も難しいですが 強力なツールがあります 無料のツールで お話ししたような調査が可能です 洗練されたアルゴリズムや 高速なコンピュータもあります

でもアルゴリズムは規則の集まりに過ぎず YesかNo 白か黒なのです 真実はそうではありません真実には価値があります 真実は感情に訴え 流動的で何より人間的なものです コンピュータが どれほど速くなろうと 情報がどれほど増えようと ― 真実を探すためには人間が欠かせません 真実の探求は人間の特性なのですから ありがとうございました (拍手)

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