‘Truth isn’t truth,’ is something that Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s legal adviser, actually said. In October of last year, Trump himself declared: ‘There’s no proof of anything.’ Despite the efforts of Trump and his ilk to deny it, the truth is out there. Proof does exist. And more encouraging, still: we, as citizens, increasingly have the tools – human and technological – to uncover and verify it. Eliot Higgins started out as a blogger using open-source investigative tools to do research from his laptop at home. In September 2018, the investigative group he founded, Bellingcat, identified the two men who had poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skirpal in Salisbury, UK, six months prior. The New York Times calls Higgins an ‘armchair investigator’. We could all do worse. As quickly as the means to obfuscate truth and create fake news are propagating, so are the journalistic, technological and citizen-led projects to debunk and dispel it.
First published in Issue 200