In this second edition of the revamped “Toolbox” series, GIJN walks readers through how to use Echosec and CrowdTangle to discover content posted to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. We also discuss the now-defunct Facebook graph search and ways to still crack the case regardless.
CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan describes how he and a colleague were able to discover, and then prove, that the largest Black Lives Matter Facebook page in 2018 was an Australia-based scam. O’Sullivan also provides insights into the value of good archive sites and domain registration tools in investigating suspicious social media pages, in conjunction with traditional reporting methods.
GIJN’s ever-growing Resource Center added many new or substantially revamped guides this year, including packages on climate change, land ownership, women journalists, data journalism, tracking planes, and working with whistleblowers.
A fugitive convict from the Netherlands has taunted Dutch police with provocative pictures and videos from Iran, playing a game of “catch me if you can” on Instagram. Investigative reporters from Bellingcat were able to reveal the last known location of the criminal with the help of over 60 Twitter users. Here’s how they did that.
When it comes to doing investigations using online tools, there is no one tool that will answer all of your questions. Instead you’ll most likely need to build slowly towards the answer using a jumble of jigsaw pieces — a name here, a connection there. The good news is that there are dozens of tools that can be used to find the pieces to your puzzle. GIJN’s Alastair Otter has pulled together tools that can be used to help build a profile of someone — or their business.
Exposing the connections between the products we buy and the circumstances of their creation has proved to be fertile ground for investigative journalism. In seeking to understand the origins of our food, raw materials and manufactured goods, reporters have uncovered slavery, environmental crimes, corruption and human rights abuses. In this new GIJN resource page, we identify the investigative tools used for tracking the “supply chains” that link fields, oceans, mines and factories with the end products we buy.
Online Research Tools and Investigative Techniques by the BBC’s ace online sleuth Paul Myers has long been a starting point for online research by GIJN readers. His website, Research Clinic, is rich in research links and “study materials.” Here’s a tipsheet about finding people online that Myers presented at a 2019 GIJN webinar. And a GIJN article about his presentation at GIJC19, 4 Questions for Online Super-Sleuth Paul Myers. https://gijn.org/2019/06/05/finding-people-online-a-tipsheet-from-paul-myers/
See also Myers’ other guides on gijn.org:
Using Twitter to Find People at the Scene of a Breaking Story
Customise your Browser: Using Add-ons for your Web Research
Browser Add-ons (Part 2): Traveling Back in Time
For our companion video, “Online Searches And Key Databases,” check GIJN’s YouTube channel.GIJN’s Investigative Toolbox, a column by GIJN’s Alastair Otter, explores selected topics:
SpyOnWeb, VirusTotal, and SpiderFoot HX (By Brian Perlman)
Tracking Names and Websites, Verifying Video, a Clustering Search Engine
Digging for People, Trawling the Web and Keeping Yourself Safe
Backgrounding People and Companies
Mine Twitter and Monitor Website Updates
Beyond Spreadsheets and Deep Searching the Web
Bellingcat’s Online Investigative Toolkit includes a wide variety of resources on maps, geo-based searches, images, social media, transport, data visualization, experts and more. Malachy Browne’s Toolkit.
As 2015 nears an end, we’d like to share our top 12 stories of the year — the stories that you, our dear readers, found most compelling. The list ranges from free data tools and crowdfunding to the secrets of the Wayback Machine. Please join us in taking a look at The Best of GIJN.org this year.