How to… Investigate Online

Some useful tips, courtesy of First Draft.

Tom Trewinnard
Oct 7, 2015 · 2 min read

Embarking on an open investigation can be a challenge — technically, practically, ethically. Fortunately the First Draft coalition, a group of the world’s leading experts in eyewitness media and open journalism, is helping Ghost Boat. Over the coming weeks they will be producing how-to guides that specifically focus on evidence that is emerging as part of our attempt to locate the missing refugees.

To get started, here are some resources that explain some of the basics of finding and verifying digital media posted to social networks.

Cross referencing online media

When you’ve got different pieces of a puzzle — media reports, police statements, social media accounts— how do you combine and cross-check them? Storyful explains how it worked to understand the identity of Dylann Roof, the Charleston gunman.

Translating eyewitness media

When you’re collecting information from around the world, a lot of information won’t be in English. How do you deal with that? Meedan provides some top tips for translating eyewitness media.

Essential tools for geolocation

Being able to locate a video or image is key in establishing credibility, but can be a challenging task. Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat explores the best tools and techniques for the job.

Verifying online images and video

Understanding whether what you’re seeing is true, false or somewhere in between can be tough. First Draft has a great guide explaining how you check whether you can believe your eyes.

Ghost Boat

An open investigation into the disappearance of 243 men…

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