How To: Perform A Reverse Image Search

A “reverse image search” allows you to search the internet for previous versions of the same picture. This is crucial for determining if an old image is being “recycled” as new. Especially during emergencies, old pictures are often posted online, and go viral due to uncritical re-sharing through social networks (this happens regularly both during complex emergencies and natural disasters).

Further, a reverse image search can also allow you to track down the original uploader of an image.

Tip: A reverse image search can also be highly useful to track down previous versions of YouTube videos! In this case, perform a reverse image search with the thumbnails that are created by YouTube when uploading a video (all three thumbnails created by YouTube can be extracted through the YouTube Data Viewer).

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How To: Extract Audio Only From A YouTube Video

In case you’d like to do an analysis of the audio of a video, there’s a very easy way to extract the audio, using the handy 4K Video Downloader software.

Step 1: Install 4K Video Downloader

Step 2: Copy the video link 

 Step 3: Open 4K Video Downloader on your computer and click “Paste URL”

Copy the YouTube video link before hitting the "Paste URL" button.
Copy the YouTube video link before hitting the “Paste URL” button.

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A video from the Syrian conflict after it has been removed by YouTube. Screenshot taken from YouTube.

How To: Download and Preserve Videos

Photo: Screenshot of a video from the Syrian conflict after it has been removed by YouTube. Screenshot taken from YouTube.

The most compelling evidence of a human rights violation captured on video can be lost if investigators do not save the video in question. YouTube videos are often removed, either by the uploader themself, or by YouTube because of violations of its community guidelines. It is thus most crucial for any researcher to first save any video that is being investigated. This is for preservation purposes only.

Downloading and saving videos from YouTube for preservation is very easy. Several simple tools exist to help with this. In this short tutorial, we are using the 4K Video Downloader software, which allows you not only to download individual videos, but entire channels and playlists. Continue reading

How To: Determine The Exact (Local) Upload Time Of A YouTube Video

Videos on YouTube are only showing the upload date, but not the exact time of upload. This can be important to find the original uploader of a video, and also helps to avoid confusion and incorrect claims about the upload date. The most prominent example for this was the false claim by Russian authorities that the chemical weapons attack in Syria from August 21, 2013, was staged, since some of the videos showed an upload date of August 20.

Detailed Case Study: Syria Chemical Weapons Attack: Debunking Russia’s False Claim About Video Upload Date

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Turning Citizen Media Into Citizen Evidence: Authentication Techniques For Human Rights Researchers

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