There are many questions (as of now) using the words "authentic" to ask a question, however I was told that my question is unclear because of it.
What is the correct usage of the word "authentic"?
Let's note that there is a dictionary definition for this word:
- not false or copied; genuine; real:
an authentic antique.
- having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified:
an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
- entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy:
an authentic report on poverty in Africa.
Clearly these three meanings require different answers, and apply differently based on what is claimed to be genuine. Questioners need to be aware of this fact and use this word when it has a unique meaning.
The word authentic is used to ask whether a video is not staged. It is necessary to specify what in the video is supposed to be staged. A video can be a genuine video, but there could be tricks being performed, or the whole video could be fake. These are different claims. Don't use "authentic" in this way.
"Authentic" is also used to ask whether an openly non-original video (e.g. where subtitles are added) has remained true to its origin. This is not a question of a factual nature, so simply avoid this usage.
"Authentic" could also mean to ask whether a video is an original copy. This actually is the word's primary meaning but it's rarely used in this fashion. In any case the word "original" also works and is unambiguous.
"Authentic" is used to ask whether an image is genuine. It's much better to ask whether it was faked (not all not-genuine photos are faked), or if it was set-up.
The word "authentic" is used to ask whether a claim written inside a picture is true. It is much better to simply ask whether the claim is true.
The word "authentic" can also be abused to ask about "implied" claims in pictures. We don't allow such "implied" claims, so simply avoid this kind of questions.
It is correct to use the word when asking about a relic of archaeological nature, or about historical evidence. In this context usage of the word is cromulent.
It is also fine to use the word when asking whether the claim is the authorship of something.