Storyful Blog

Hang out with Google & Storyful: Talking journalism, social media and verification


Google crisis map of Sandy-related YouTube videos, as curated by Storyful

Google and Storyful want you to join the discussion of what happened when the rogue storm of 2012 hit the social media capital of the world.

Hurricane Sandy hit the Caribbean and the East Coast of the US at the end of October, generating an eye-watering amount of Sandy-tagged content on the social web. More than a million pictures were uploaded to Instagram, and, just before landfall, 1,600 stormy tweets per minute were being tagged with the hashtag #hurricanesandy. As usual, YouTube was the video destination of choice for people capturing the full force of the storms on their smartphones.

While the amount of user-generated content (UGC) being shared around big news events provides journalists with more material than ever before, the challenges of verification have grown at the same rate.

Old photos of huge tornado-type clouds circulated quickly on Twitter, as they do every time a big storm threatens. One Twitter user, @comfortablysmug, deliberately shared false information about the impact of the storm on New York city, while photos of sharks swimming in New Jersey neighbourhoods were doing the rounds on Facebook.

One month on, Storyful is hosting a Live to Air Google Hangout to discuss what happened during Sandy, the continued challenges faced by journalists trying to verify content in real-time, and the possibilities offered by technology during a big news event.

The panel includes:

Adam Blenford, Journalist, BBC (US Bureau)

Liz Heron, Social Media Director, Wall Street Journal

Aine Kerr, Politics Editor, Storyful

Tom Phillips, International Editor at MSN UK and runs

Craig Silverman, Editor of Regret the Error on

Paul Watson, Chief Technical Officer, Storyful

The discussion will be moderated by Dr Claire Wardle, Director of News Services at Storyful, and will be held in front of a live audience at Google HQ Dublin. Students from New York’s Columbia Journalism School and a number of Dublin journalism programmes will also be joining the Hangout.

The Hangout will be broadcast live, and we will be live-tweeting from the @storyful Twitter account. We will be asking for questions and suggestions on that account over the next few days and during the event.

When: Monday 10th December, 4.30pm GMT, (11.30am EST)


Catch up later on:


8 comments on “Hang out with Google & Storyful: Talking journalism, social media and verification

  1. Mike Downes
    December 3, 2012

    Are you sure on those times 4:30pm UK Time = 11:30am EST ?

  2. Mike Downes
    December 3, 2012

    Is this a LIVE Hangout On Air? I am presuming nothing.. I saw your post on twitter saying it’s live tweets which is great..

  3. Jonathan Marks
    December 3, 2012

    If you haven’t already seen this excellent piece of footage shot and montaged by a great videographer at WPIX, you need to check it out now.

  4. Google Local Dublin
    December 4, 2012

    @google-f6fb0cfe4152a15ff73bd5d2af749b2f:disqus Yup this is a live hangout from Google Docks in Ireland. 

  5. Maeve O'Sullivan
    December 5, 2012

    Sounds like a really interesting event. I’m just wondering a) if this event is free to attend and b) whether a booking needs to be made. I am asking on behalf of our media students.

    • Claire Wardle
      December 8, 2012

      Hi Maeve,
      The event is an online Hangout on Google+ which people can watch Live, or watch later on YouTube. It’s being hosted at Google HQ, but because it’s in an office, and not a public space, it’s very difficult to get people in and out of the building. The event will be attended by Google and YouTube staff based in the building.

      Google themselves invited two journalism classes from Dublin colleges they’ve been working with to be part of the 10 spaces on the Hangout, so they will be a classroom with a webcam.

      There were 5 additional spaces to be at Google HQ, and they’ve been given to students who have been working with Storyful/connected with Storyful to date.

      If your students are interested in watching and taking part, I recommend they get involved in the online conversation on Monday afternoon, and send questions and comments as part of the live stream. 

      I apologise again for the late response to your comment – I need to check my notifications settings, as they’re clearly not working.

  6. Maeve O'Sullivan
    December 5, 2012

    Or is it a virtual-only hangout?

  7. Pingback: #Tip of the day for journalists: Watch Storyful’s Hangout on verifying Sandy footage | Editors Blog |

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