Third issue of the InVID Newsletter

Third issue of the InVID Newsletter

We are pleased to announce the release of the third issue of the InVID newsletter! The aim of this issue is to inform the community, our readers and supporters, about the developed tools and applications for media collection and verification.

This issue, initially, outlines the adopted software development methodology. Subsequently, it presents the latest versions of the InVID tools, namely, the Visual Analytics Dashboard, the InVID Verification Plugin, the InVID Verification Application and the InVID Mobile Application. Following, it reports on the consortium’s dissemination activities over the last year of the project – activities that targeted both the relevant industry and the research / academic community – and the project’s collaborations. The issue ends with details about the InVID consortium and how to get in touch with us.

Please find the newsletter at:

InVID at ICT 2018: A wrap-up

InVID at ICT 2018: A wrap-up

As it was one of the final dissemination events of the InVID project, and a rather successful one, we portray what happened at ICT 2018 in Vienna in more detail here to give the reader an impression of one of the project’s final dissemination activities.

InVID was represented at ICT 2018 with a stand / booth that was manned over the entire three days of the conference and exhibition. ICT 2018 took place from 4 – 6 December 2018 in the Austrian capital Vienna. Many people stopped by our stand, including – among others – Claire Bury from the EU Commission, Deputy Director General at DG Connect, and Ingolf Schädler, Deputy Director General at the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology. A photo of the InVID project co-ordinator, Dr. Vasileios Mezaris, talking to a group of high-profile visitors appears on the top of this article (photo taken by Jochen Spangenberg).

Stand visitors were very interested in the issue of false / misleading information in general, and how InVID aids to counter the spread of misinformation. This way, we raised considerable interest among the political sphere, but also among others interested in our solutions (e.g. in particular individuals with a research / academic background as well as business interests.)

In addition to our continuous stand presence in Hall X3, we hosted a networking session on day 2 of the conference (Wednesday, 5 December 2018). The session was organised by CERTH’s Symeon Papadopoulos and featured contributions – in order of appearance – by Vasileios Mezaris (CERTH), Denis Teyssou (AFP), Jochen Spangenberg (Deutsche Welle), Nikos Sarris (Athens Technology Center) and Zlatina Marinova (Ontotext). The topic of the lively presentations and discussions: “Fighting Disinformation through Human, Crowd and Artificial Intelligence.” Presentations dealt with InVID project outcomes, work of the (now completed) EU project REVEAL (one of the EC’s very first projects dealing with verification of digital content – started in 2013 and completed in late 2016. More on, Truly Media (a collaborative verification platform developed by ATC and Deutsche Welle – more on, and the newly started EU projects WeVerify (also tackling misinformation – started on 1 Dec 2018, more on and the coordination action SOMA (building and supporting a European Disinformation Observatory – more on

Panel of the InVID networking session at ICT 2018 (Photo by Symeon Papadopoulos)

Panel of the InVID networking session at ICT 2018 (Photo by Symeon Papadopoulos)

The InVID team itself reported very actively about its presence and activities. We produced short videos with most project members present, in which they outlined project outcomes, results and achievements, and used Twitter as our primary channel to report about our activities and what was going on.

Our own efforts were supported greatly by others reporting and tweeting about us and what we got up to. Below, we provide screenshots of the tweets that gained most attention and interactions.

Top tweets by third parties mentioning InVID. Screenshots of respective posts on Twitter

Top tweets by third parties mentioning InVID. Screenshots of respective posts on Twitter

Overall, the consortium is very pleased about its presence at ICT 2018. We can confidently say that it was a big success as

  • it contributed further to raising awareness on various aspects of the misinformation ecosystem, including our work and efforts;
  • we reached numerous new people and showcased what we got up to and provide to the factchecking / verification community;
  • in the course of ICT 2018 our verification plug-in surpassed the number of 8,000 users;
  • we gained about 120 new Twitter followers within a week, most of them in the course of the conference;
  • feedback obtained was highly positive and came from a great variety of stakeholders and interested parties.

Summing up, the InVID presence at ICT 2018 in Vienna can be called a high profile event with considerable impact. In order not to praise ourselves too much here, we let others have the final word, and conclude with a tweet from @EU_Media_Lit, the official EU account on disinformation and media literacy policy in the EU Commission.

Tweet by @EU_MediaLit of 5 Dec 2018

Tweet by @EU_MediaLit of 5 Dec 2018

Author: Jochen Spangenberg
Editor: Evlampios Apostolidis

Fighting Disinformation through Human, Crowd and Artificial Intelligence

Fighting Disinformation through Human, Crowd and Artificial Intelligence

InVID co-organized a Networking session at ICT 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

The session took place in Room L4 on December 5th. Positioned within the theme of “Inspiring a digital society”, it aimed to bring together participants with an interest in the highly important topic of online disinformation. It featured a number of experts presenting the latest scientific and technological advances that can help mitigate it, and propose solutions and initiatives that tackle information manipulation.

Key questions discussed during the session, included:

  • the definition and types of mis/disinformation, case studies and lessons learned from past disinformation incidents;
  • tools and services that can be used for debunking misleading online content and inaccurate information;
  • latest scientific advances from the fields of artificial intelligence, web mining, big data, multimedia forensics, and social network analysis that can help tackle the problem;
  • and open challenges and future research directions.

As presented in the agenda of this session, Dr. Symeon Papadopoulos from CERTH-ITI initiated the discussion with some opening remarks. Following, Dr. Vasileios Mezaris (also from CERTH-ITI) the Project Co-ordinator of the InVID project, presented the motivation, overall concept, main objectives and results of the project, which will be completed by the end of this year.

Dr. Vasileios Mezaris from CERTH-ITI, the Project Co-ordinator of InVID, presents the motivation, main objectives, ov erall approach and integrated results of InVID

Subsequently, Denis Teyssou from Agence France-Presse talked about the developed InVID Verification Plugin (which has been adopted by a wide community of more than 8.000 users so far) and described its integrated technologies that assist journalists to debunk fake videos shared online.

Denis Teyssou from Agence France Presse, introduces the InVID Verification Plugin as a verication “Swiss army knife” that helps journalists to save time and be more efficient in their fact-checking and debunking tasks on social networks.

In the sequel, Nikos Sarris from ATC and Jochen Spangenberg from Deutsche Welle discussed about Truly Media – a platform for collaborative verification of digital content – and its role in the European Disinformation Observatory.

Jochen Spangenberg from Deutsche Welle, talks about the characteristics of mis/disinformation.

The presentation part of the networking session was completed by the speech of Zlatina Marinova from OntoText, which was dedicated on a newly started H2020 project that also targets media verification, called “WeVerify: Wider and Enhanced Verification for You”.


Meet InVID at the ICT 2018 Event

Meet InVID at the ICT 2018 Event

InVID will have a booth in the ICT 2018 Exhibition, which is part of the flagship EU meeting on Information and Communication Technologies, the ICT 2018 event, taking place in Vienna on 4-6 December 2018. Meet us in Hall X3, Stand i24 to see the latest InVID tools and technologies in action, and explore collaboration possibilities.

We will also be organizing an ICT 2018 networking session on fighting disinformation; join our session on December 5, 16:30 to 17:15, in Hall L4.

InVID at the 7th media festival Naprej/Forward

InVID at the 7th media festival Naprej/Forward

The InVID project and InVID Verification Plugin were presented on Friday, Nov. 23, by Vasileios Mezaris at the 7th media festival Naprej/Forward in Ljubljana.

The InVID session was attended primarily by journalists from all over Slovenia, who got to participate in a hands-on demonstration and testing of the InVID Verification Plugin. The InVID session was hosted at the EU House: the offices of the European Commission Representation and the information office of the European Parliament in Slovenia. 

More details (in Slovenian) about this presentation, can be found here.

The force of falsity

The force of falsity

In a lecture given at the University of Bologna in the mid-nineties, entitled “The force of falsity” and later included in English in his book “Serendipities”, Italian semiologist Umberto Eco reviewed several historical false stories and argued that those false tales, “as narratives, seemed plausible, more than everyday or historical reality, which is far more complex and less credible. The stories seemed to explain something that was otherwise hard to understand”

And he added: “False tales are, first of all, tales, and tales, like myths, are always persuasive”

During the CrossCheck operation on the 2017 French presidential election, one of the debunked stories was a video of a man presented on social networks as a migrant assaulting nurses in a French hospital (see screenshot of the tweet below).

Fake tweet about a migrant being violent in a France hospital

Fake tweet about a migrant being violent to the nurse of a hospital in France

The video was disgusting. “We treat them and and they are thankful: the proof… Here is what the media is hiding from you” could be read in the first caption while later copies blamed a migrant seeking free healthcare for the barbarian act and started to campaign in favor of withdrawing universal medical care.

But that migrant was in fact a Russian citizen in a Novgorod (Russia) hospital, drunk according to the local press and caught one month before by a monitoring camera. The video was reported in several Russian news publications.

An image similarity search on keyframes (using the InVID Verification Plugin) was enough to retrieve that Russian video and to conclude that this barbarian act was used out of context to spread an insidious xenophobic campaign. Debunked by ten French media, that video reached fifteen millions views on Facebook.

Being an emblematic fake in France was not sufficient: that very same video was used again and again in the following days and weeks at least in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Turkey, then France again, always as a migrant locally attacking hospital staff members, triggering again several millions views and more debunks. Retrieval of the same video was possible thanks to the use of InVID keyframe fragmentation technology.

Furthermore, months after the debunk, an image similarity search on a keyframe would retrieve correctly several fact-checkers websites but would also lead on Google to an artificial intelligence “best guess for this image” presenting it as “a nurse beaten by a migrant”.

Although the above example is only reaching the first of the five stages of election meddling proposed by Finnish researcher Mika Aaltola (“using disinformation to amplify suspicions and divisions”), it shows the level of insidious manipulation that circulates with impunity on social networks to favor, often over a long period of time, extremism and racism, and their political allies. 

As French researcher François-Bernard Huyghes rightly pointed out: “the goal is to make (the voter) political choice appear to be spontaneous: I believe A, therefore I receive a message telling me that candidate Y thinks so as well. According to this model, we have gone from a strategy of mass political persuasion dumped by the media, to targeted soliciting tailored to our deepest wishes.”

In our societies already shaken by economic crisis and mass unemployment, we should not underestimate the force of falsity.

* Paper initially presented by Mr. Denis Teyssou (AFP) at the High-Level Conference on Election Interference in the Digital Age, building resilience to cyber-enabled threats, organized in Brussels on 15-16th of October 2018 by the European Political Strategy Center


[1] Eco,U. Serendipities, Language and Lunacy. New York, Columbia University Press. 1998
[3] Aaltola, M. Democracy’s Eleventh Hour: Safeguarding Democratic Elections Against Cyber-Enabled Autocratic Meddling, FIIA Briefing Paper 226, November 2017. available at (retrieved on 10/30/2018)
[4] Huyghes, F-B, “Que changent les fake news?” La Revue internationale et stratégique, 110, 2018/2, p. 83-84. Translated into English in Jeangène Vilmer, J.-B. Escorcia, A. Guillaume, M. Herrera, J. Information Manipulation: A Challenge for Our Democracies, report by the Policy Planning Staff (CAPS) of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM) of the Ministry for the Armed Forces, Paris, August 2018. Available at (last retrieved on 11/3/2018)

The InVID Verification tools at EJTA 2018

The InVID Verification tools at EJTA 2018

The InVID technologies for newsworthy content discovery and verification were presented by the CERTH team at the EJTA Teacher’s Conference 2018, that took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 18-19 of October 2018. The different components of the InVID Verification Plugin for online debunking of fake videos, were demonstrated during a hands-on session.

This session started by a short introductory presentation made by Dr. Vasileios Mezaris (the InVID Project Co-ordinator). This presentation aimed to discuss the motivation behind the project (i.e. the ever-growing need for quickly identifying and stopping the spread of fake news!), the goals of the project and the integrated technologies that have been developed, to assisting journalists and media professionals in collecting, discovering and verifying newsworthy user-generated content.

The participants of this session, more than 15 academics and teachers from Schools of Mass Media and Journalism from European universities, had the opportunity to follow a step-by-step procedure for installing the plugin, and using it in a number of fake news debunking examples, based on the different verification components of the plugin.

The collected feedback regarding the functionality of the InVID Verification Plugin was highly possitive, while the demonstrated examples in comparison with the free access to the InVID plugin were highly valued as a source that will enable the participants to enrich their courses with some real-life scenarios of fake news debunking using a state-of-the-art video verification technology.

Academics and teachers from Schools of Journalism arround Europe, being presented the verification functionalities of the InVID plugin.

Dr. Zampoglou (CERTH) demonstrating the analysis capabilities of the image forensic component that is integrated into the InVID plugin.


A wrap-up of the InVID presence at IBC 2018

InVID presence at IBC 2018

The InVID project was invited to participate in the Future Zone of the International Broadcast Convention (IBC), that took place in Amsterdam on 14-18 of September, to demonstrate the developed integrated tools for newsworthy content discovery and verification.

A few hundred visitors from TV channels, media organizations, software houses and research organizations passed through the InVID booth, that was nicely located between the BBC R&D booth and our colleagues from the COGNITUS project, to check the functionalities of the InVID technologies. More specifically, these visitors were introduced to:

  • the freely-available InVID Verification Plugin, a browser extension that offers a set of analysis components for debunking fake videos online;
  • the InVID Verification Application, a web-based integrated technology with advanced content management and verification functionalities (beyond the ones supported by the free plugin);
  • the InVID Multimodal Analytics Dashboard, a web-based platform for newsworthy contentc collection and discovery;
  • and the InVID Mobile App, a mobile application (available for both iOS and Android users) that enables newsworthy content contribution to media organizations by the public (i.e. trusted citizens/users of the app).

Our participation in IBC allowed us to get in touch with potential customers of the InVID technologies, such as mainstream television groups, providers of social media feeds for broadcasters and also international television networks. Indicative dissemination and promotion activities of our presence in IBC are the following.

Rolf Fricke (Condat) was interviewed about InVID and the InVID technologies, on a live Radio show by Myrte van der Putten.

Marco Lawrenz (Condat) presented the verification functionalities of the InVID Plugin, to ZDF producers.

A collaborative demonstration of the established communication between the CONGITUS platform (used for UGV content enhancement) and the InVID Verification Plugin (used for UGV content verification), was made with the help of our partners from the CONGITUS project.

A big THANK YOU for visiting the InVID booth and showing your strong interest to the InVID solutions for newsworthy content discovery and verification!

Visit InVID at IBC 2018

Visit InVID at IBC 2018

InVID has a booth in the IBC 2018 Exhibition – the top annual business conference and exhibition of the media, entertainment and technology industry, held in RAI Amsterdam, Sept. 14-18, 2018.

Meet InVID in the Future Zone of IBC 2018, Hall 8, stand 8.F16. We will be there to showcase the latest InVID tools and technologies, and discuss with you how InVID can address your individual video and news verification needs.

InVID Plugin surpassed 4000 installations – New release available

We are thrilled to inform you that the InVID Verification Plugin has surpassed 4000 installations! A big thank you to all of you who are using this tool for media verification, and motivate us to make it even better!

In addition, we are glad to announce the release of a new version of this tool, which:

  • contains a GDPR-compatible cookie consent,
  • enables the users to directly apply the forensics filters on any extracted/collected keyframe or submitted image,
  • allows the application of reverse image search using the KarmaDecay and the Bing search engines via its contextual menu, and
  • has a number of bugs fixed.

To get the new Chrome- and Firefox-compatible versions of the plugin, please visit