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CNN iReport FAQ/Help
What's CNN iReport all about?
How is this section different from the rest of CNN.com?
What determines what I see on my homepage?
I'm new. What should I do first?
What counts as "news" here?
What if I see something that I don't think qualifies as news?
Why does my story say "NOT VETTED BY CNN"?
What does vetted mean?
If I register on CNN iReport, does that mean I work for CNN?
What are tags? And why do I need them on my story?
Can I edit my iReport?
What are assignments?
What does it mean to "sign up" for an assignment?
Why is my iReport not showing up?
Why do some of my story attachments show "failed" on my iReport profile page?
Which file formats can I upload?
What does my profile page show about me?
How does "Post to Facebook" work?
What does it mean to follow someone?
What does it mean if someone's following me?
What are favorites?
What's a group? Can anybody join?
There's not a group about chinchillas. Can I start one?
How does the map work?
What’s the deal with these badges? How do I get them?
Didn't see what you were looking for in the FAQ?

What's CNN iReport all about?
CNN iReport invites you to take part in the news with CNN. Your voice, together with other iReporters, helps shape what CNN covers and how. Learn more on the About CNN iReport page.

How is this section different from the rest of CNN.com?
Everything you see on iReport starts with someone in the CNN audience. Stories submitted to CNN iReport are not edited fact-checked or screened before they post. Only stories marked "CNN iReport" have been vetted and cleared by CNN.

What determines what I see on my homepage?
iReport producers will feature some iReports, stories and assignments that we think will be interesting to the entire community, but your iReport experience will be unique and based on your interests. You can go to your profile page and pick topics that interest you, whether it's international news, weather, history, entertainment, food, or all of the above. You can also follow iReporters whose work you admire. You’ll see their new stories, as well as other iReports they mark as “favorites” on your homepage.

I'm new. What should I do first?
The iReport Welcome page is a good place to start. It will walk you through all of the site's features and show you how to meet other iReporters, find stories you care about and see what projects the iReport team is working on. Or if you're ready to share your story, you can click on the upload link at the top of the page and get started.

What counts as "news" here?
We'll decide that together. One of the goals of CNN iReport is to expand the current definition of news. Please share the stories you think are newsworthy and participate in discussions you think are interesting. CNN's producers will check out the most compelling, important and urgent stories, so we can verify the information and add them to CNN's coverage. Check out the community guidelines for more on this topic.

What if I see something that I don't think qualifies as news?
If you don't think something is newsworthy, you are free to offer that comment below the posting, but the flagging option is limited to material that violates community guidelines. If you think something crosses a line and violates community guidelines, please tell us by clicking on the "report violation" link. CNN iReport’s moderators will take a look and, if necessary, put the item behind a warning wall or take it down altogether.

Why does my story say "NOT VETTED BY CNN"?
Stories submitted to CNN iReport are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post. So we mark all iReports with the label "NOT VETTED BY CNN" to let you know that this story hasn't been both checked and cleared by a CNN editor.

What does vetted mean?
iReports that have a red "CNN iReport" stamp in the corner have been vetted and cleared. That means they've been selected and approved by a CNN producer to use on CNN, on air, or any of CNN's platforms.

If I register on CNN iReport, does that mean I work for CNN?
No. Being an iReport user and creating and uploading content to CNN iReport does not mean that you work for CNN, and you should never represent yourself as working for CNN. You can read more about this policy in the CNN iReport terms of use, under section 7, "Conduct on iReport."

What are tags? And why do I need them on my story?
Tags are short, descriptive words or phrases that help identify and group things together on the Web. On CNN iReport, we use tags as the main way to connect and organize the material on the site. The more tags you add, the easier it will be for others to find your work and connect it to similar pieces. Keep in mind that many of the search tools built into this site rank tags based on their order, so you should list the most important tags up front, and separate tags with spaces instead of commas. For multiple-word tags, use an underscore (i.e. cnn_ireport).

Can I edit my iReport?
Yes! News breaks and details change, so we know you need the ability to edit your iReports. You can update the text of your iReport by clicking the “edit” button under the photo. The “edit” button does not allow you to add or delete media files (photos or video), so keep that in mind when uploading content. And if your iReport has been vetted by CNN, you should know that the "CNN iReport" stamp will disappear when you edit the iReport. We'll automatically be alerted to your edit, and once we've vetted and cleared the new text, we'll put the stamp right back on.

What are assignments?
iReport assignments are story ideas from CNN producers, based on topics in the news or stories that CNN expects it will be covering soon. If you're looking for ideas about what to cover, assignments are a great place to start, though you certainly shouldn't feel like your iReport has to fit within a particular assignment. You can see all of the active assignments on the Assignment Desk page. The most compelling iReports from these assignments often end up on CNN television and CNN.com.

What does it mean to "sign up" for an assignment?
If you want to participate in an assignment, but aren't ready to do it right now, you can sign up to do it later. We will send you a message as the assignment deadline approaches so you don't miss out. CNN producers may also decide to give iReporters a bit of advanced notice about projects that we're going to do in the future. For example, we might want people to share their Oscar party, watch a debate, or participate in a weekend assignment. We'll send you a reminder when we open the assignment.

Why is my iReport not showing up?
There are a few possibilities:

  • Your story may have included attachments that were larger than 600MB. You may upload as many as 10 files at one time. If you see a message on your My Stuff page that says "processing failed," try uploading the story again using a smaller file if necessary. If it still fails, please let us know.
  • One other possibility is that your story was taken down by a third-party moderator because it was found to be in violation of the Community Guidelines.

Why do some of my story attachments show "failed" on my iReport profile page?
The Media files list on your iReport profile page shows each of the attachments associated with your story, and what their status is. "Published" items made it successfully through the upload and encoding process and are live on CNN iReport. "Failed" items didn't go through. (Only you and the iReport team can see failed uploads.) The most common reason items fail is that they're file types not accepted on CNN iReport (see list). If your item is an accepted file type and fails the first time, try to upload it again. If it fails a second time, please e-mail contact@ireport.com so we can take a look. Be sure to include the URL for your story.

Which file formats can I upload?
CNN iReport supports most image, video, and audio formats. However, CNN iReport does not support upload of text or formatted documents (e.g. txt, doc, rtf, html, pdf, eml) or files in any other format that is not video, audio or image. If you would like to add text to your story (and we hope you do!), please type or paste it into the description area on the upload form.

Visit the CNN iReport Toolkit for tips on creating great content!

What does my profile page show about me?
Your profile page lets others on the site see your iReports and get to know a little bit about you. Feel free to include as much or as little as you like. No matter what, the site keeps your e-mail address, phone number and mailing address concealed from public view. Follow the "Edit My Profile" link to make changes.

How does "Post to Facebook" work?
Taking advantage of Facebook's Timeline and Open Graph technology, you are now able to seamlessly share high-quality images you upload to iReport on your Timeline whenever you post a new iReport. The Timeline post will also include the text of your story and a link to the iReport itself. All your shared iReport images and their accompanying stories will live in a special album that will be automatically created for you on the Facebook website. In addition to iReport stories and their images, you are also able to share your iReport comments on Facebook.

Checkboxes allowing the choice to post on Facebook are now present on the comment and upload pages. Users who have never used the feature before will be prompted with a Facebook permissions dialog in order to connect their accounts. A marked checkbox means that the comment, or the story and images posted, will also be posted on Facebook. If the box is left unchecked, the post or comment will publish on iReport, but will not be shared on Facebook.

Here's how to get started:

  1. Click on the "Post to Facebook" checkbox that now appears on the upload dialog and under the comment box in any iReport story.
    • You can also connect and disconnect your accounts from your iReport profile page.
    • If this is your first time connecting your iReport and Facebook accounts, you'll be presented with a permissions dialog. Click "Log in with Facebook" to connect your accounts. You may also be presented with a confirmation dialog: If you see your avatar and username, click "close".
  2. Once the checkbox is marked and your upload form or comment is complete, click on the respective "Upload your story" or "Post comment" button.
  3. Rejoice! Your Facebook post or comment will be shared on your Facebook Timeline with your friends.

What does it mean to follow someone?
Followers on CNN iReport are like friends on other social networking sites. If you see someone whose work you admire or find interesting, click on "Follow this person" to see their new contributions show up on your profile page next time you log in.

What does it mean if someone's following me?
If someone decides to follow your profile, it just means that they are interested in your work and want to keep track of what else you contribute to the site. If someone decides to follow you, you are under no obligation to follow them in return.

What are favorites?
Favorites are a way of sharing the iReports you think are interesting with the rest of the CNN iReport community. When you favorite a story, it shows up on your profile page and goes out on a feed to all of your followers.

What's a group? Can anybody join?
Groups are mini-communities that revolve around a topic. iReporters will see the latest assignments on the subject and get to know other members. Groups are currently open to everyone, but we might let people start invitation-only groups in the future.

There's not a group about chinchillas. Can I start one?
Not yet. Groups are a new thing for us, so we want to get the hang of how things work before we let everyone start their own. Plus, we'd rather have one group with 100 members than 100 groups with one member each, so we're going to have to figure out a process for creating new groups.

If there is a topic that you think should have a group but doesn't, let let us know and we'll look into it.

How does the map work?
The CNN iReport map places stories and people by location. For iReports, we use the "story location" information that contributors include when they upload. The map works best with complete, non-abbreviated place names (i.e., Atlanta, Georgia or Accra, Ghana). If you've uploaded a story and don't see it on the map, check to make sure you've included location information. If it's not there, you can edit your story and add it.

For iReporters, we map using the "hometown" field on profile pages. (One important note on that: your private profile information includes an area for your mailing address. We do NOT use that information to place your profile on the map.)

What’s the deal with these badges? How do I get them?
Badges are one way that we recognize iReporters’ contributions to our community. You can earn many of the badges by being active on the site, or by participating in special iReport projects. Here’s a guide to all of the badges and how you get them.

Didn't see what you were looking for in the FAQ?
Drop us a line at contact@ireport.com and we'll do our best to answer your question.