Digital Resources for Citizen Investigators: Our recommendations

Many of us currently live and work in a challenging physical isolation imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are constantly bombarded with digital information. Some of it is biased, some of it is fake, and some of it can cause unnecessary panic. Now is the perfect moment to polish your evidence collection and verification skills - so we've compiled a package of recommended resources we've been developing for investigation-hungry citizens.

  • "Our Currency Is Information" - a video documentary we made back in 2013 about methods and tools for investigating corruption and organised crime. This documentary remains as valid nowadays as it was then - if not more so, with the exponential rise of information as currency.

  • "Decoding Data" - a collection of methods, cases and tactics about ways to find, collect, analyse, verify and protect your data. We published this in 2015 (with updates in 2017) so at the current speed of life you could say it's 'an oldie but a goldie'.

  • "Behind the Data: Investigating Metadata" - are you sharing that photo of yourself working at home to your social media networks? What else are you sharing? And what can you find out from the things others share online? This guide that we published in 2017 looks at how metadata has been used to expose, protect and verify abuses and excesses of power.

  • "Who, What, Why, Where? Verification of Online Data - it's never too soon or too often to bring this up: verify, verify, verify. This guide from 2017 addresses the essential verification questions of where, what, why and who; and it includes a number of tools and techniques to assist you with verifying data you find online.

  • AND - from our latest resource for citizen investigators, the "Exposing the Invisible Kit" - a look at the top ingredients of a good investigation: evidence, verification, documentation and safety, with "What Makes an Investigation."

First published on July 27, 2020

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