Bellingcat: Fighting for truth in a world of alternative facts

Bellingcat conducts meticulous open-source and social media investigations into a range of topics from organized crime to government corruption to far-flung conflicts.

The Problem

Intelligence professionals have a saying that 20 percent of the information they want to know is classified, while 80 percent is open-source. That should be good news for journalists, investigators, and concerned citizens seeking to uncover the truth about public events. But in the age of Youtube, cell phone cameras, and social media, the limitless stream of open-source information can overwhelm the capacity of all but the most dogged analysts to sift it for valuable nuggets.

The Solution

UK-based Bellingcat brings together contributors who specialize in open-source and social media investigations to conduct deep dives into a range of topics from organized crime to government corruption to far-flung conflicts. Using YouTube, Facebook, and Google Earth, these citizen journalists can pinpoint the locations of everything from artillery strikes to executions, or verify the timing of a missile launch. Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins first gained notice with his home-based investigations of weapons used in the Syrian civil war. He was the first analyst to demonstrate that the Syrian regime was using cluster munitions and chemical weapons, and the first to establish Russian government involvement in the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Bellingcat

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