Technology and Tools Track: Fast and furious fact-finding with Facebook

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speaker: Henk van Ess of Bellingcat
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 15 at 3:45pm
  • Location: Crystal E
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Dutch-born Henk van Ess ( does some fast and furious fact-checking in Facebook, using examples inspired by recent news stories such as the Manchester bombing, Las Vegas shooting, Jihadi John, the Russian investigation and Cambridge Analytica. Among the tricks he will show: 

* finding hidden friends on Facebook

* finding the precise profile of an imprisoned person

* what to do when a terrorist or suspect profile is deleted 

* how to find people on Facebook with very common last names

* investigating people on Facebook when you only have a first name and a city 

* determining which U.S. senators are followed by which Russians

* searching for certain keywords from certain persons

* and the most important Facebook Formula you will ever see for your daily work. 

Speaker Bios

  • Henk van Ess is obsessed by finding narratives in data.  Media organizations like NBC News, Axel Springer and Schibsted love his literal and lateral thinking and hire Henk on a regular basis to spill his secrets. He rarely appears at public conferences, so this is your chance to find out the best tricks in internet research. This is his first time at IRE. Henk is a member and trainer of the investigation team at Bellingcat.

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