Hello everyone,

As a team, we at /r/IAmA have discussed how best to handle the recent influx of AMAs relating to the Hong Kong protests. While we understand that this is a sensitive topic and there are many different opinions held by individuals, we believe that AMA should remain a subreddit dedicated to truly unique experiences. As such we will continue not to allow posts that are simply a resident of Hong Kong or China weighing in on the conversation. However we do want to allow those that are experiencing these protests firsthand to be able to answer questions that Reddit has for them.

We've decided the best way to facilitate this is via the use of Truepic. At the bottom of this post is more info about Truepic from our wiki. We believe this will allow those who are engaged in protests to be able to take verifiable photos and videos with their location included in the data so that we can confirm they are who they say they are and that they are truly on the ground in these protests.

For AMAs posted after the posting of this Mod Post, where the topic is participation in a protest or other similar large public event, we now require the following for proof:

  1. A Truepic picture or video making it clear that the person holding the camera is participating in the protest. We do not require (or expect) the person making the picture or video to identify themselves in it or include their face.
  2. The Truepic location setting should be set to show at least a moderate level of detail - enough for other users to confirm you are in the vicinity of the protest location.

We appreciate those who are taking the time to answer questions and help keep the wider world informed on what's happening from their unique position, and thank them for co-operating with us and our verification policy going forward.

What is Truepic?

Truepic is a company out of San Diego who have developed a mobile-app-based photo and video verification service. Photos and videos taken with their app are scanned for manipulation, location, and a ton of other factors to make sure they are real and authentic. You can see more information about them on their website.

TruePic has informally partnered with the Moderator team for IAMA for over a year help us verify AMAs. We're not paying them, they're not paying us. We have confirmed that none of the mods has any sort of personal or professional relationship with anyone at, or related to, Truepic. The relationship grew after they approached us about helping with verifying AMAs. We're just making use of their very useful technology, and they're hoping to show off their product to the world by helping us catch fake proof and even allowing us to verify otherwise unverifiable AMAs. If anyone knows of a similar app that would allow proof verification in the same way, we'd be happy to add that to our list of accepted proof.

To get started, search for the Truepic app in your smartphone's app store. When you've taken your proof picture or video, you can choose your level of location detail - depending on your claim you might want exact location, but be careful not to share your home address. You can then add the Truepic link the app provides to your post.

Comments: 345 • Responses: 10  • Date: 

cinemachick546 karma

Does this in any way pose a risk of the Chinese government being able to arrest protestors based on the geo-data they provide to Truepic?

IAmAMods16 karma

The geo data is pretty vague - covers a range of a few miles. Just lets people confirm the OP is in the area.

CaptainBritish140 karma

A massive Chinese owned company known for bending over backwards to the Chinese government has a $300m stake in Reddit, now one of Reddit's most popular subreddits wants participants of anti-China protests to participate in identity verification with a company that we have no possible way of knowing who they might sell that data to? Yeah, fuck off. Just fucking disallow AMAs from participants of the riots or something, not this bullshit.

IAmAMods-40 karma

This is not identity verification. This is verification that they're in the general vicinity of where they claim to be. We don't want to identify people.

IAmAMods84 karma

Some quick notes from our friends at TruePic:

General Anonymity Tips While Using Truepic: 

If users would like to increase their Truepic anonymity beyond current traditional social media standards, follow these four simple steps:

1- Sign up for Truepic app with generic or dummy email address. Truepic does not verify the user; it only verifies the image captured.

2- Don’t use your real name as a username, unless you want your photos to be watermarked with your name.

3- Only capture images/videos in public places (avoid capturing images at your residence, business etc..).

4- Use VPN to add an extra layer of encryption to your data.

The tips above are merely suggestions for improving anonymity while using the Truepic app and are in no way a comprehensive guide to internet anonymity/privacy.  Every user should evaluate his or her own situation and take those measures they deem necessary for their privacy and safety.

Note: It is important to note that Truepic does NOT sell, share, or monetize use data in any way.

kjs59322 karma

Shame, I get why it needed to be done but still, seems antithetical to the very idea of reddit.

I really hope the protest ends well, or I assume the people here wont be able to sleep too soundly with their conscience

IAmAMods0 karma

We've been pretty strict on proof for at least 5 years.