Six tools for social newsgathering


I made a short video for News Xchange 2016, demonstrating six tools I find useful when working with user-generated content and social newsgathering. In case you missed it (or didn’t catch the URLs in time), here’s a list.

Google Translate: the Chrome extension provides a quicker way to translate a sentence or two between languages. This makes it possible to browse a multilingual Twitter feed without switching browser tabs.

YouTube Data Viewer: shows you the exact time a video was posted on YouTube and generates thumbnails to reverse image search. This is invaluable for helping you to work backwards through earlier versions of a video, as you hunt for the original poster or try to debunk a hoax.

Facebook Graph Search Engine: tool to help you find out more about someone using their data on Facebook. (There’s a new version in beta too.) By searching for public photos and posts they’ve commented on, it can help you to identify friends and family, when someone has their friends list set to private. (Also use it to check your own Facebook profile and see what others can find out about you. Bit scary.)

Awesome Screenshot: Chrome extension to capture, crop and save screenshots. Great for making a quick record of important conversations on social media, in case the other person deletes them.

Twitter List Copy: tool to import someone else’s Twitter list into a list of your own, rather than simply following it. This can help you build big lists for social newsgathering. It’s also a simple way of sharing a private Twitter list with a colleague: make your list public for a moment, they copy it, you make your list private again.

bioischanged: paste a Twitter username into the URL to see previous versions of their profile text, e.g. shows @philonski’s profile history. This is great for helping to verify someone’s identity or uncovering alternative contact details they’ve removed from their Twitter profile.

What tools do you find useful?

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