Verifying Information in Challenging Environments for Citizen Monitors


As a citizen monitor collecting crowdsourced information there are nine golden rules you should follow when verifying information:

  • Unless you are an eye witness, meaning if you don’t see or hear it, it is not 100% verified.
  • Choose your verification criteria in advance and be transparent about it.
  • Choose your trusted network and make membership rules clear.
  • Always be ready to change your mind about the reliability of a source.
  • Always be ready to change your mind about the veracity of information.
  • Question everything.
  • Choose you battles; you might not be able to verify everything.
  • Admit when you make a mistake.
  • Remember that what you know, others also know.
  • Maintain measures to protect your personal safety and security.

The number one rule for the verification of crowdsourced information is that unless you see and hear it, it is not 100% verified. You need to protect your reputation and your credibility every time you use, republish, collect or release crowdsourced information. With that in mind, remember to be very transparent about your verification criteria and the degree of verification you achieve with your methodologies.

Your most powerful tool for promoting change is information and the credibility behind it. As someone working on verifying information in Iran, you must do everything you can to protect your credibility and the message of change you are trying to convey. While it can be a daunting process, by verifying information collected through crowdsourcing you are taking the right steps in becoming a reliable source of information and agent of change.