You want to confirm the location of the source to figure out where they are getting their information. The reason you want to do this is to determine if they are the primary, secondary or tertiary source. Was the source a direct witness (primary)? Did the source get information from a witness (secondary)? Did the source get information from somewhere else (tertiary)? There are four steps that you can follow in order to authenticate the location of a source:
Determining if the user is a primary source:
- First, check the location listed on the user profiles of social media accounts;
- Second, check the location listed on smart phone messages;
- Third, cross-reference the locations from user profiles and smart phone messages; and,
- Fourth, cross-reference the location in the information you are verifying with locations in other messages from the source.
Ideally, you are looking for a primary source because the closer the source is to the information you are trying to verify, the more reliable the source.