Before embarking on a story, it is important that journalists are able to distinguish fact from fiction. It is not the job of the journalist to make statements – instead it is necessary to make solid points which are backed up with verified information. Before on-ground fact-checking begins, there are several digital tools available to journalists to begin the process online. In this first piece in a series on fact checking articles, we present some tools you can begin using immediately to fact-check a person’s identity or story:


Facebook Graph Search:

This provides an easy way to locate people without even knowing the name of the person you are searching for. You can simply search based on other known information such as location, occupation and age.

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/graphsearcher/

GeoSocial Footprint:

This website allows you to track someone’s location “footprint” that is created from GPS enabled devices based on tweets, social check-ins, natural language location searching (geocoding) and profile harvesting.

For more information, visit: http://geosocialfootprint.com/


An underestimated way to verify professional information about a person. LinkedIn presents people work history and connections as an additional means to track down a person to verify their identity or story.

For more information, go to www.linkedin.com 

Muck Rack:

This PR and Journalism based site lists thousands of journalists on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Quora, Google+ and LinkedIn who are already vetted by Muck Rack’s editors. If your story is connected to one that has been covered internationally or made the news in a different country, then verifying by way of other published work on the topic or person is highly recommended. 

For more information, visit: https://muckrack.com/

Person Finder:

An open-source Google application that helps you search for people affected by disasters. Whenever a large disaster happens anywhere in the world, Google’s Crisis Team sets up a person finder.

For more information, visit: https://google.org/personfinder 


This site houses over 3 billion people’s identities. Pipl searches for an individual’s Internet or digital footprint by searching multiple social media accounts, public records and contact details.

For more information, visit: https://pipl.com/

Written by: Natalie Soysa

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