Join Bellingcat’s April 2023 Hackathon and Increase the Accessibility of Open Source Tools

March 20, 2023

Bellingcat will host a remote global hackathon for teams of up to three people to increase the accessibility of software tools used in digital investigations between 21 and 23 April. Participants from any timezone are welcome to apply. 

You’ll get to work together intensively with your team to contribute to an existing tool, develop a new tool to be used by open source researchers or develop an easy-to-use interface for an existing tool. See our Participant Guide for more information about the hackathon including details on the schedule, rules and grading criteria.

If you do not have a team, you are welcome to apply to participate in the hackathon and work alone. Alternatively, we will allow you to chat with participants ahead of time and potentially form teams with other attendees.

The Hackathon will have a specific focus on increasing the accessibility of software tools used in digital investigations.

We’re looking for new ideas and innovative ways of working with open sources. You needn’t be a professional or expert coder with a portfolio of fully-fledged projects in order to apply. That said, prototyping an MVP (minimum viable product) is a requirement of the hackathons – you therefore must have the necessary development or coding skills.

All participants will be vetted. Per our company policy, we do not allow any military or intelligence personnel to attend our events. Participation by government employees is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, we vet all of our participants as part of the registration process. Participants may enter anonymously, but in this case at least one of your other team members must be able to share their genuine online profile with Bellingcat for vetting purposes.

Both hackathons will conclude with an awards ceremony presented by Bellingcat where the best projects will be announced. We recommend that you familiarise yourselves with the grading criteria well in advance.

A number of prizes are available to winning tools, including free spaces at Bellingcat workshops.

After the hackathon is over, we plan to write an article about some of the projects developed — by participating, you agree that your project might be profiled. We’ll also ask if you’re interested in your tool being included in Bellingcat’s GitHub organisation.

If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out at