Verification and hippos

There’s no doubt what the video of the weekend is: This extraordinary footage of a hippo charge. I love the way you can hear the engine of the boat speed up as the dark torpedo in the water approaches.

But where it came from is a bit more of a mystery.

I spotted it when a friend from Storyful tweeted it. And it makes clear the video was shot in Botswana.

So I was  a little surprised to see that the BBC website said it came from South Luangwa, in Zambia.

Both are places I know well so I was intrigued.

It seems that a safari guide living in Malawi had posted the video on Facebook and allowed TV networks (including ABC News, from whom the BBC obtained it) to broadcast the footage. He was not the original source but had been sent the footage by a friend. And that’s where the misunderstanding has come from. Michael Varndell has now clarified all of that on his Facebook page and seems mortified by the confusion.

All of which goes to show that even with the excellent work of Storyful in verifying and licensing footage from social media, things like this can still happen. When it comes to video from the internet: Check, check and check again. Or sign up with Storyful.


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