The ethics of using user-generated content are constantly transforming and there’s a healthy debate within the industry.
- Do you pay contributors?
- Ask for permission first?
- What happens if someone is in a dangerous situation?
UGC rules often need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. That said, I believe that there are two basic things all media organizations can and should do: Properly credit user-submitted photos and videos and let people know when and where their content is being featured. Those are easy and effective ways to build a relationship with your audience.
In some ways, Snapchat Discover is a throwback to the days before the continuous, 24-hour news cycle. Channels update their stories only once a day, and the effect is that it’s not really a good place to find breaking news.
The lightly-aged nature of the news on Discover, coupled with the limited selection of channels, makes it feel more like watching broadcast TV than browsing your Facebook feed. And the daily publishing schedule also presents some dilemmas for news organizations. If a Snapchat Discover story contains a factual error, do you correct it the following day, using one of your precious story slots? Or do you simply change the story on the web, and hope nobody notices?