The Agence France Presse has released new guidelines on reporting from social media. The AFP calls on staff to “monitor Twitter, Facebook, etc. just as they do other sites” and to verify information as if it came from any other source.
However, the AFP noted that “an unverified statement on a social networking site may not be used as the source for a news break, nor for a description of unfolding events unless we are sure of the authenticity of the account.”
The AFP also warned about the possibilities of being hoaxed by social media. For example, the AFP reported from a fake Twitter account that the British foreign secretary tweeted “RIP, Michael,” following Michael Jackson’s 2009 death.
The social media guidelines include rules for using photos from social media. See the guidelines here.