Bellingcat is transforming investigative journalism with open-sourced information

The independent news collective is teaching a new generation of journalists and citizens to spot the stories in plain sight.

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  • Bellingcat has used open sources, such as satellite maps and social media posts, to unmask Russian spies and solve mysterious plane crashes.
  • The independent news collective blends the investigative methods of citizen journalism with the guidelines of a traditional news outlet.
  • It hopes to make open-source investigative techniques mainstream, setting an example in our era of vast data and "counterfactual communities."
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    Twitter turns to the hive mind for moderation via its Birdwatch program

    The platform experiments with letting users decide what content needs flagging.

    Credit: Twitter/Big Think
    • Birdwatch is a new effort by Twitter to crowdsource content moderation.
    • Still in testing, volunteers can comment on tweets they find problematic.
    • Reactions to the new experiment are predictably colorful and bird-brained.
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    8 big thinkers to follow on social media in 2021

    Journalists, doctors, and others you should know.

    Photo composite by Derek Beres, from Instagram and YouTube
    • While social media is often a source of disinformation, some thought leaders are using their platforms as a force for good.
    • Social networks offer an opportunity for readers to learn science-backed advice from top professionals in their fields.
    • From journalists covering disinformation to a doctor giving the best physical therapy advice around, these influential voices deserve wide audiences.
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    How Napoleon went from ‘cannibal’ to ‘Majesty’ in 20 days

    Alexandre Dumas' famous anecdote about Fake News in the 1800s has a surprising twist.

    • Unfazed by his first defeat, Napoleon swept back into power in 1815, going from exile to emperor within a single month.
    • Parisian newspapers scrambled to adapt: at the start of that month, Napoleon was a 'cannibal'; at the end, 'His Majesty'.
    • For the first time ever, this map illustrates the spatial dimension of that shift – but the anecdote, made famous by Dumas, has a twist.
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    This chart will tell you how biased your favorite news source is

    Ad Fontes Media wants to educate readers on where to find reliable sources of news and lessen the heat from the political flame wars.

    • Polarized, unreliable news can be dangerous during turbulent times, such as the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The Ad Fontes' Media Bias Chart maps out the biases and reliability of legacy and alternative news organizations.
    • Political bias is one of many we must be wary of when judging the quality of the news we consume.
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