It’s a well known adage that an image has the power to speak 1,000 words. But in today’s age of fake news and trolling it also has the power to be taken out of context and manipulated for ill gain to forward an agenda.
Just last week, as Adweek reported, a Trump ad on Facebook about the “chaos” of recent U.S. protests misleadingly used a 2014 image from the Ukrainian Revolution.
Agency Uncle Grey Copenhagen in Denmark has created a new tool for camera brand Canon that aims to help avoid that type of image being taken out of context.
In a bid to help press photographers protect and tell the real stories behind their most powerful images, the agency and Canon have developed a publicly searchable global database, called Truthmark, which allows photographers and photojournalists to upload their photos along with the real stories behind how and why the images were taken.
Anyone who wants to check the authenticity of an image can search for it by uploading an image to the platform. If the site holds data on the image, it will match it with a description from the photographer, the agency said, even if the photo has been edited or modified.
To support the launch, Uncle Grey Copenhagen has created a social media campaign featuring interviews with award-winning photographers Ivor Prickett, Johnny Haglund, and Daniel Etter, who talk about the importance of context in photojournalism.
They have each added their own images into the database, though Uncle Grey Copenhagen has not confirmed to Adweek how many images in total are currently stored on the site.
“Social media is now a part of the news diet of an increasingly large share of the population, and too often social media is also allowing an agenda to be promoted, rather than news to be reported,” said Clara Prior-Knock, associate creative director at Uncle Grey Copenhagen. “And unfortunately, that’s where we see lies travel just as fast as the truth–that’s why we wanted to make a tool that could help both readers and photographers combat this misinformation.”
Client service director: Josephine Winther-Poupinel
Art directors: Mads Nielsen and Carl Angelo
Copywriter: Clara Prior-Knock
Motion & editing: Mathias Nielsen
Digital director: Kasper Nielsen
Creative chairman: Lars Samuelsen
Project manager: Pernille Tramp
Client: Jenni Lindström, marketing director and Cathrine Stenemyr, channel business developer, Canon Nordic.