Verifying Information in Challenging Environments for Citizen Monitors

Step Two: Smart Phone Location Settings

When a user accesses social media through a smart phone application by commenting on Facebook or Tweeting, the smart phone posts the location of that person if their GPS location service is activated. In cases like this, the location appearing on the social media site represents the actual location of that person at the moment the message was sent. However, it does not necessarily mean that this person is located in the exact place mentioned in the information you are trying to verify.

In the second step for authenticating a sources location, you will need to ask, is the location listed on the social media message the same as the information you are trying to verify?

  • If the answer is no, than this person is a secondary or tertiary source because they are not located near the epicenter of information and are probably receiving second or third hand accounts.
  • If the answer is yes, then this person is probably a primary source and requires further investigation by cross-referencing their biographical information.