When allegations of war crimes arose from Syria, blogger Eliot Ward-Higgins realized that amateur investigators could use readily-available digital tools to uncover what was really going on and who was to blame. In 2014, Higgins launched a website called Bellingcat, which has brought together amateur sleuths from around the world to scour videos, photos, social media posts, and maps to investigate everything from whose missiles shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to the habits of Mexican drug lords.
Bellingcat investigations have been cited by the Atlantic Council, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.
Higgins is hoping to take cyber investigative research from the amateur realm to the professional, and launched another Kickstarter to do so. He joins us to discuss Bellingcat, citizen journalism and the phenomenon of fake news.