More on FAQ #109

109. So is the message that no photographs on social media should be trusted?

No, that’s not the message at all.

The message is simply this: Do not blindly trust the “Guaranteed TCQ” label in instances when it is found only on social media with no corroborating source to give it credibility.

With hundreds of millions of photographs being posted on social media every day, it is obvious that many millions of those photographs will be plenty trustworthy.

For example, many of the most-trusted information sources have a presence on social media, and they’re unlikely to risk their reputations by posting untrustworthy material (with their name on it) anywhere online.

The key is understanding that those trusted information sources are trusted because they have established a presence outside of social media.

In a similar vein, photographers and other individuals who make use of social media but want their photographs to be trusted can easily establish a parallel presence away from social media (like their own monosite, as noted on the “trustworthy contexts” page).

Without much effort a monosite can offer an accountability level that is greater than social media alone can provide.

In an era when monosites can be set up in a few minutes and put online for free, photographers who use social media AND want their photographs to be trusted can easily find ways to do both.

See also the “Convincing viewers” guide.