Media of Verification: An Epistemological Framework for Trust in a Digital Society

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


The concept of verification is commonly associated with verifying sources in journalism, Open-Source Intelligence, digital forensics, and various digital research methods. In this context, I introduce 'media of verification' as an epistemological framework that encompasses a variety of practices. Through the examination of examples, I elaborate on four modalities: verification in media, apparatuses of verification, verification as consensus-making, and infrastructures of verification. Verification in media involves the pre-reportage verification of sources in journalism. Apparatuses of verification are devices designed to validate authenticity. Verification as consensus-making encompasses decision-making processes, such as negotiations, debt registers, and bookkeeping. Infrastructures of verification pertain to authentication media like certificates, batches, and other mechanisms ensuring the integrity of goods, documents, data, currencies, and sensitive information. I show that different phenomena, practices, and techniques bridging the digital and physical realms are indeed part of the same epistemological framework I call 'media of verification.'