More on FAQ #205

205. Why is it “impossible” to make a TCQ-like standard for most of the videos that we see?

Because TCQ gets its credibility from requiring the faithful depiction of only “what the camera saw” during the recording...

. . . and very, very few of the videos we see online every day fit that description (especially since a “video TCQ” that included audio would also require a faithful depiction of what the camera heard).

For example, to meet the requirement of “faithfully depicting what the [video] camera saw [and heard],”

a video could have no slow motion (or any other variance from “real time,” meaning no time-lapse, no freeze frame, and no repeat of the key moment); it could have no audio that was not recorded at the scene (that would mean no voiceover, no added music, and no dubbing of spoken lines that were initially botched); it could have no insertions of any video or audio, no matter how brief they are; and — perhaps most importantly — it could have no cuts anywhere in the video except cutting at the very beginning and very ending of the video, corresponding to cropping the edges a photograph.

Even cutting one or two seconds of the audio without touching the video — such as cutting the audio of a simple “Um” or cough from an off-camera person — would disqualify a video from a “what the camera heard” requirement.

(Needless to say, all of the “non-doctoring” aspects of TCQ would also apply, such as not misrepresenting the presence or appearance of the things that the camera recorded.)

Finally, there is an enormous philosophical difference between photography and video: photography is about freezing a single moment in time, while video is by definition about depicting multiple moments. Videos are essentially many photographs shown in quick succession, and even when recorded at the slowest common frame rate, a simple 5-minute video contains more than 7,000 individual “photographs”! The longer the video, the more opportunity there would be to doctor a few frames without detection.

But if someone would like to create a TCQ-like standard for video, they can adapt as many of the Trust Checklist's 9 qualifications as they wish. This page may provide a helpful start.