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Investigating the Internet: How to Sniff Out Scams

About This Course

The internet can be filled with fake news, dubious claims and phony sources just as much as it can offer useful, valuable information.

Craig Silverman will give an overview of the useful tools and techniques he uses to sniff out fake news hustlers and online scammers, and to investigate websites, people and social accounts online. Using tools and approaches that anyone can learn — regardless of technical expertise — you will get what you need to make the most of the vast array of publicly-available information online.

The tools showcased are either completely free or provide a free version, and they are essential for any reporter, editor or researcher working today.

What Will I Learn?

  • How to track back the owner of a website and examine its social footprint
  • How to investigate images and videos to determine their origin and authenticity
  • How to search Facebook and Twitter like a pro
  • How to find people online, and how to connect them to websites, companies and other entities
  • How to use a wide range of free tools to find information faster

Who Should Take this Course?

This webinar for all journalists working across different beats, as well as for researchers and others who need to track content and people on the internet. It provides a set of tools and techniques that can be applied to any beat or story, and does not require technical expertise or expensive subscriptions.

Course Instructor

Craig Silverman

Craig Silverman

Craig Silverman (@craigsilverman) is the founding editor of BuzzFeed Canada and a leading expert on media errors, accuracy and verification. He previously was a fellow with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, and founded, a real-time rumor tracker.

He previously served as director of content for Spundge and helped launch OpenFile, an online local news startup that delivered community-driven reporting in six Canadian cities. Craig is also the former managing editor of PBS MediaShift and has been a columnist for The Globe And Mail, Toronto Star and Columbia Journalism Review. He is the author of two award-winning non-fiction books, Regret The Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech and Mafiaboy: A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man.

Training Partner

ACES: The Society for Editing

ACES: The Society for Editing is a nonprofit education and membership organization working toward the advancement of copy editors. Its aim is to provide solutions to editing problems, training and a place to discuss common issues.

The organization is an international members' alliance of editors working at newspapers, magazines, websites, traditional media outlets and Fortune 500 companies, as well as freelance editors, students and professors. It is an organization built on the advocacy of editing as a craft vital to clear writing and reader advocacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.