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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    Does fact-checking really work? Timing matters.

    New research from MIT is unintuitive but could lead to a better system.

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    • MIT researchers conducted a study with 2,683 volunteers on the efficacy of fact-checking.
    • Showing "true" or "false" tags after the headline proved more effective than showing it before or during.
    • The researchers believe this counterintuitive discovery could lead to better fact-checking protocols in the future.
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    Study: Personal anecdotes are more effective at bridging divides than facts

    Most people believe you can win an argument with facts - but when "facts" are so often subject to doubt, are personal experiences trusted more?

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    • A new study has found that people are more likely to get respect from others in moral and political conversations when sharing personal experiences instead of facts.
    • The research group conducted 15 separate experiments to test this theory in order to learn more about tolerance in specifically political arguments.
    • The effectiveness of facts in these conversations (even when proven true) is unclear because facts themselves are now subject to doubt, especially surrounding controversial and polarizing topics such as gun control and political beliefs.
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    The issues and ideas that mattered most to Americans in 2020

    Google's "Year in Search 2020" results reveal a year when "why" was searched more than ever.

    Big Think
  • Google has released its latest "Year in Search" results, an aggregation of its 2020 data that reveals the year's most pressing ideas, concerns, and questions.
  • Coronavirus and the election dominated trending searches, with most every other category orbiting these massive headline-generating forces.
  • However, the data also show people making the best of it, helping each other, and preparing for a better 2021.
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    3 reasons for information exhaustion – and what to do about it

    How to deal with "epistemic exhaustion."

    Photo by Filip Mishevski on Unsplash
    An endless flow of information is coming at us constantly: It might be an article a friend shared on Facebook with a sensational headline or wrong information about the spread of the coronavirus.
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