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Cursos autodirigidos

Digital investigations for journalists: How to follow the digital trail of people and entities

Instrutores:   Craig Silverman Brandy Zadrozny Jane Lytvynenko Johanna Wild
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This resource page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America‘s massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Digital investigations for journalists: How to follow the digital trail of people and entities.” The four-week course took place from October 5 to November 1, 2020. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who’s interested in learning how to investigate digital content and accounts.

with support from:

kflogo

The course was taught by Craig Silverman, Brandy Zadrozny, Jane Lytvynenko, and Johanna Wild. They created and curated the content for the course, which includes video classes, readings, exercises, and more.

 The course materials are broken into four modules, along with an introductory module:

We encourage you to watch the videos, review the readings, and complete the exercises as time allows. The course materials build off each other, but the videos and readings also act as standalone resources that you can return to over time.

We hope you enjoy the materials. If you have any questions, please contact us at journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu.

Meet the Instructors

Craig SilvermanCraig Silverman is an award-winning journalist and author and one of the world's leading experts on online disinformation, fake news, and digital investigations. He is the media editor of BuzzFeed News where he covers platforms, online disinformation, and media manipulation. Craig is also the editor of the European Journalism Centre’s Verification Handbook series. He was named to the Politico 50 for his work exposing fake news and its effect on American politics, and is the recipient of the Carey McWilliams Award from the American Political Science Association, which honors “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.”

 

 

Brandy ZadroznyBrandy Zadrozny is an award-winning investigative and features reporter for NBC News where she covers misinformation, extremism, and the internet. This year alone, she’s written definitive stories on the QAnon conspiracy, Trump propaganda outlet The Epoch Times, and the profiteers behind the rising anti-vaccination movement and coronavirus misinformation online. Previously, Brandy was at The Daily Beast where she covered politics and the internet as a senior reporter. She has an MLIS and in a former life, worked as a librarian and instructor in news, college, and public libraries.

 

 

Jane LytvynenkoJane Lytvynenko is an award-winning reporter at BuzzFeed News where she focuses on disinformation, cyber security, and online investigations. Jane has uncovered social media manipulation campaigns associated with state actors, financially-motivated bad actors spreading disinformation, and key data breaches. Her work also brings accessible fact-checking to wide audiences during times of crisis.

 

 

 

 

Johanna WildJohanna Wild is an open source investigator at Bellingcat and is passionate about tech and tool development for digital investigations. She has a journalism background and spent several years in (post-)conflict regions where she supported journalists from Eastern Africa and the Middle East to investigate and report on local conflict dynamics.

Fundamentals of digital investigations

 Introduction

1. Welcome video

Watch Video   

2. Course syllabus

Syllabus 

 Required Apps and Plug-ins

1. TweetDeck by Twitter [Twitter]

2. CrowdTangle Link Checker (Chrome Plugin) [Google]

3. Fake news debunker by InVID & WeVerify (Chrome Plugin) [Google]

4. Wayback Machine (Chrome Plugin) [Google]

5. Fake news debunker plugin [InVID]

6. CrowdTangle search tool (Web-based) [CrowdTangle]

7. Wayback Machine (Web version) [Internet Archive]

 Materials

1. Investigating disinformation and media manipulation by Craig Silverman [DataJournalism.com]

2. The skills every digital investigator needs By Lydia Morrish [First Draft]

3. OSINT is a state of mind By Dutch Osint Guy [Medium]

Investigating people and social media accounts

Instructor: Brandy Zadrozny, investigative reporter, NBC News

 In this module you will learn:

  • Using social media and public information to investigate a person
  • Investigating who’s really behind a social media account
  • Applying your backgrounding research to inform a story

 Video Classes

1. Investigating people and social media accounts - Building a Profile

Watch Video  Transcript  Presentation

2. Investigating people and social media accounts - Beyond Breaking News

Watch Video  Transcript  Presentation 

 Readings

1. A guide to open source intelligence (OSINT) by Michael Edison Hayden [Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism] *The Facebook section is outdated because of the death of Graph search, but the rest is still very useful.

2. Verification handbook chapter 1: Investigating social media accounts by Brandy Zadrozny [DataJournalism.com]

3. The Red Pill series part 1: The republican lawmaker who secretly created Reddit’s women-hating ‘Red Pill’ by Bonnie Bacarisse [Daily Beast] [pdf]

4. The Red Pill series part 2: Red Pill Boss: All feminists want to be raped by Bonnie Bacarisse & Brandy Zadrozny [Daily Beast] [pdf]

5. The Red Pill series part 3: New Hampshire State Rep who created Reddit’s ‘Red Pill’ resigns by Bonnie Bacarisse & Brandy Zadrozny [Daily Beast] [pdf]

 Optional Resources

1. Resource List

Search techniques for finding and monitoring

Instructor: Jane Lytvynenko, senior reporter, BuzzFeed News

 In this module you will learn:

  • Monitoring and investigating Twitter using advanced keyword searches and Tweetdeck
  • Searching Facebook
  • Verifying images and videos using reverse search and WeVerify

 Video Classes

1. Introduction: Twitter, Facebook, and Images

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

2. Searching Twitter

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

3. Searching Facebook

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

4. Verifying Images and Videos

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

5. Interview with Ali Breland, Reporter at Mother Jones

Watch Video  Transcript 

 Readings

1. Verification handbook chapter 4: Monitoring for fakes and information operations during breaking news by Jane Lytvynenko ) [DataJournalism.com]

2. The oxygen of amplification: Better practices for reporting on extremists, antagonists, and manipulators online by Whitney Phillips [Data & Society]

*Read the "tips for reporters" sections:

  • Tips for Establishing Newsworthiness (read pages 4-5)
  • Tips for Reporting on Objectively False Information (read pages 6-8)

Investigating websites

Instructor: Craig Silverman, media editor, BuzzFeed News

 In this module you will learn:

  • Analyzing the content and social spread of a website
  • Using whois records to examine the ownership and details of a domain name
  • Connecting websites together using Google AdSense and Analytics codes

 Video Classes

1. Introduction: Overview

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

2. Content analysis

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

3. Whois searches and website archives

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

4. Connecting websites together

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

 Readings

Network analysis

Instructor: Johanna Wild, investigator and tech innovation lead, Bellingcat

 In this module you will learn:

  • Learning the basics of network analysis, and how to apply it to digital investigations
  • Performing network analysis using data from social networks
  • Using data visualization for network analysis

 Video Classes

1. Introduction: Network Analysis

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

2. Network analysis for digital investigation

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

3. Influence networks (A case study presentation) with Ben Strick

Watch Video  Transcript 

4. Performing network analysis using data from social networks

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

5. Using data visualizations for network analysis

Watch Video  Transcript Presentation

 Readings

 Optional Resources

1. Resource List