Thousands of pictures of the war have been posted on social media since the start of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine on February 24. In order to compile and validate these countless photos and videos, the Center for Information Resilience, a British NGO that promotes democracy and fights disinformation, has developed a collaborative map to document the conflict and allow people to access verified information.
As more and more Ukraine war videos are released, misinformation, propaganda and confusion are spreading on social media. In order to provide users with verified content, the Information Resilience Center has developed a collaborative map of video aggregation: Monitoring Map between Russia and Ukraine.
Hundreds of verified videos. France 24, Bellingcat, Mnemonic and Conflict Intelligence Team, among others, monitors are participating in the collaborative effort, and investigators, including journalists and experts, use open source software to locate and date the videos. Once approved, it is recorded on a map, which is made publicly available on the Internet. The videos document military actions as well as the fighting, damage, and casualties of the war in Ukraine.
Benjamin Strick, director of investigations at the Information Resilience Center, told us more:
We’re actually starting to document conflicts on the map, where there might be shelling, where there might be shelling or shooting and things like that. […] We can then put a pin at the exact location where this video was shot. The map’s significance lies not only in verifying the footage, but also in the face of claims by Russian state media and the Kremlin regarding the misinformation they are currently spreading about Ukraine.
This effort to share verified information has already documented abuses against civilians. The video below, which was taken in Kharkiv and published on February 28, was flagged by a member of this community.
In this week’s episode of The Observers, Strick showed us how to geolocate this video while paying attention to some of the visual features, such as the various parking lots and iconic buildings. By cross-checking Google Maps, you can find out exactly where this photo was taken, which proves that this bombing actually took place in Kharkiv.
Over a thousand videos like this have been verified and added to the map so far.