May 3-5: Bellingcat Online Workshop (12-hour, verification focus) [US/Canada-friendly time]

This workshop is a beginning & advanced verification course and a beginning course in social media & individual-focused research, taking place May 3-5 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM EST (New York) / 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM CET (Amsterdam),, covering the following topics:

Beginning & advanced verification course

  • Introduction to open source research
  • Verification of user-generated materials
  • Web search techniques for digital investigations
  • Reverse image search techniques in digital investigations
  • Geolocation of visual materials
  • Chronolocation of visual materials
  • Using mapping and satellite services in investigations

Beginning & advanced social media & individual-focused research course

  • Intro to investigating individuals and groups
  • Intro to social network-specific research (4chan/8chan, TikTok, Twitter, etc.)
  • Using Telegram for open source investigations

With our in-person workshops delayed due to ongoing concerns from COVID-19, Bellingcat is now offering online training workshops. These workshops will be held at a reduced price compared to our in-person trainings. We will hold sessions of varying length and on different topics over the coming months, in sessions ranging from a few hours to sixteen hours stretched over four days. These live workshops will be held virtually, and will not be asynchronous, requiring online attendance in real-time.

We have a new round of webinars coming up this autumn for digital investigation techniques. We are moving away from the chaotic first-come, first-serve email method of training registration, and instead trying out a more organized event management system via Eventzilla.

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.

The ticket price is inclusive of 21% VAT; 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 of the workshops– 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!

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.

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

Each day of training is four hours, thus an eight-hour workshop is over two days. We have four modules in our training curriculum; the sixteen-hour course includes all of these four modules, while shorter ones will only contain some of them.

  • Beginning verification course
  • Advanced verification course
  • Beginning social media & individual-focused research course
  • Advanced social media & individual-focused research course

We also have specialized, niche modules that are offered on a four-hour basis, including the RuNet webinar. We plan on doing a specialized training just on geolocation techniques later this year.

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 VAT requirements of online courses are based on the organizer’s institutional location (the Netherlands). This means our online courses are subject to the Dutch VAT of 21%. If your organization is able to recoup VAT expenses, please email us separately at so we can send you an invoice with an included VAT number.

The only software requirements for our workshops is installing Zoom (the platform for the webinars). We recommend installing Google Earth Pro on your machine before the workshop begins if you are taking a course that focuses on verification or investigating user-generated content.

More information on our workshops can be found in this article from The New Yorker. Additional details on our workshops and training agendas (focused on our in-person workshops) can be found in a document here, which we encourage you to survey if you are interested in attending.

Again, please don’t hesitate to message us at if you have any questions.