(Full) December 14-17: Bellingcat Online Workshop (16-hour) [North America-friendly time]

Register here!


This workshop is a beginning & advanced verification course and a beginning & advanced course in social media & individual-focused research, taking place December 14-17, from 10:00 AM to 02:00 PM EDT (New York) / 04:00 PM to 08:00 PM CEST (Amsterdam), covering the following topics:

  • Introduction to open source investigation
  • Creative search fundamentals
  • How to conduct (nearly) traceless and anonymous/pseudonymous research

Beginning & advanced verification topics, including:

  • Verification of user-generated materials
  • Intuitive reverse search techniques in digital investigations
  • Geolocation & chronolocation of visual materials
  • Using mapping and satellite services in investigations

Beginning & advanced social media topics, including:

  • Fundamental techniques and creative search strategies on individuals & groups
  • Platform-specific tutorials, including 4chan/8kun, Telegram, and other services
  • Tracking transportation services (e.g. naval vessels, aircraft) for investigations

When registering and paying with credit card or Paypal, please complete your payment in the same tab/window as when you registered. Alternatively, you can choose “bank transfer” and pay later. If you register and select credit card or Paypal, you must pay at time of registration, otherwise Eventzilla will lock you out and we will have to manually delete and restart your registration.

You can find more information about our trainings and webinars in the event descriptions on Eventzilla, including an agenda for each workshop.

For our in-person workshops, we only offer five-day (40 hour) sessions that cost €2200 per person (excluding VAT, without travel/accommodations provided). We are charging a reduced rate on a per-hour basis for our online trainings:

  • 4-hour workshop: €200 excl. VAT euros/person, and any payment processing fees
  • 8-hour workshop: €400 excl. VAT euros/person, and any payment processing fees
  • 12-hour workshop: €600 excl. VAT euros/person, and any payment processing fees
  • 16-hour workshop: €800 excl. VAT euros/person, and any payment processing fees

The ticket price is inclusive of 21% VAT (tax); all individuals applying for this course are subject to the Dutch VAT of 21%. If your application is paid for by a company to whom different VAT rules apply, please mention your VAT number in the registration form, after which we will send you a separate invoice.

Please look closely at the cancellation and event policies before you take the leap. We run all of these trainings on Zoom in a private webinar room, with two or three trainers present to help with both the webinar itself and any questions the participants have. Also, please note the times — about half of our trainings are Europe-time friendly, and the other half more US/Canada-time friendly. If you are in California, you probably don’t want to sign up for an event that is at 10am Amsterdam and 1am Pacific time!

Eventzilla lists most of our events in the Amsterdam (GMT+1) time zone, which is sometimes noted as “CEST” and other times as “WEST”. We don’t know why Eventzilla sometimes uses this designation of “WEST” for Central European time, but just keep in mind that it’s one hour ahead of London and six hours ahead of New York.

We have to approve your registration manually after you register on Eventzilla. We do basic due diligence checks on our participants to be sure that our trainers and other participants are comfortable with their participation. Our main policy is that we do not allow members of any military or intelligence service to attend our workshops, and allow government employees in on a case-by-case basis to be sure there aren’t any serious ethical issues.

For example, in past workshops, we have approved the participation of government employees working on issues around election integrity and security, while we have rejected the participation of government employees working for state migration services tasked with information gathering around deportations. We also conduct basic due diligence for non-government employees to be sure both the participant and their employer do not have a track record that would clearly make our trainers and other participants uncomfortable with providing training in research techniques that could be abused.

That said, the vast majority of participants are approved without any issue and the main barrier for participation being workshops filling up too quickly.

Our training topics are split between four segments: beginning verification, advanced verification, beginning social media, and advanced social media.

All of our workshops have the same beginning segments of an introduction of open source investigations, a segment on creative search techniques, and some discussion (more on the 16-hour and social media-focused workshops) on how to conduct relatively trace-free investigations.

The verification segments focus on the verification and analysis of user-generated content (e.g. photographs and videos), and the social media segments focus on how to conduct research on individuals and groups through social media and digital information sources. Our workshops mix and match these four segments at different price points and lengths.